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Tag Archives: NPHET

No timescale for elective surgery deferrals

HOSPITAL waiting lists look set to increase significantly again following the cancellation of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments in public acute facilities amid concern from a local senator Covid-19 is spreading in Clare like “wildfire”. UL Hospitals’ Group has confirmed the deferral, until further notice, of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments across the group. This includes University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. University Maternity Hospital Limerick is unaffected by the reductions. The number of Clare and Mid-West public in-patient and day case waiting lists soared from 4,198 in January 2020 to 6,612 last November, while the numbers on outpatients’ lists jumped dramatically from 47,134 to 55,088 during the same period. There has been an increase of almost 3,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West from December 19 to January 3. According to official statistics, the number of positive cases in Clare jumped from 1,546 to 2,135; …

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GP warning over flouting of self-isolation guidelines

AS CLARE’S Covid-19 infection rate continues to rise, a busy family doctor has warned that many people, who should be self-isolating, in line with public health advice, are failing to do so and putting others at risk. Dr Yvonne Williams from Shannon said she was concerned that people who should be restricting their movements, while they have potential symptoms, are not listening to the advice of their GPs or the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). ‘What I am finding is that people are still going out and about with coughs and other possible symptoms,” she said. “The truth is that you can’t say that something is just a sinus infection, or just a chest infection or a just a sore throat until you have a negative Covid-19 test. If you are unwell in any way, we have to treat that as Covid until it is proven otherwise.” Dr Williams also expressed concerns over turnaround times for tests which she …

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Chief Super appeals for patience over Level 3 check points

CLARE’S Garda Chief Superintendent has acknowledged the frustration some people may experience as a result of check points set up as part of Operation Fanacht. The policing operation re-commenced on midnight October 6 when the country moved to Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions. Addressing the meeting of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) last Monday, Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran noted that complacency had begun to set in in terms of following public health guidelines and that part of Operation Fanacht involved making people more aware of the restrictions currently in place. “All of us have become somewhat complacent,” the Chief Superintendent said. “The increase in the Covid-19 figures show this. We are making people more aware of the guidelines.” Currently, three static checkpoints are in place and members of the forces are engaging with the public on the M18 on the Limerick county boundary, as well as in Killaloe and Ennis. Staggered mobile checkpoints are also in use, the Chief Superintendent explained. …

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McNamara sharply critical of Covid restrictions

THE head of the Dáil’s Covid-19 committee has questioned whether those who set the rules on curbing the virus understand how people really live their lives, insisting that the current approach is not working. In a sharp attack on government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), Deputy Michael McNamara said a greater focus must be placed on educating people about how to live alongside the virus. Reacting to news that Gardaí are to be given enhanced powers to shut down pubs in breach of regulations, the Scariff man was highly critical of the government’s current policies. “We’ve had inspection, after inspection, after inspection,” he said. “On one weekend alone, Gardaí inspected 6,000 premises. At the same time, our infection rates continue to rise. In other countries, all pubs have been open all summer and yet we now have higher rates of Covid-19 than Sweden who avoided a lockdown. The policy seems to be that the beatings will continue …

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Questions raised over extension of Covid powers for Gardaí

THE Clare-based chairperson of the Dáil committee on Covid-19 has described the prospect of legislating to give Gardaí the power to break up house parties as “tricky”. Deputy Michael McNamara called on government to make clear the rationale for new measures announced this week, which also include a reduction on numbers attending indoor and outdoor gatherings. “What is the basis of the current measures?” he asked, adding that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly must come before the committee to explain the government’s thinking. In relation to the extension of powers for Gardaí, Deputy McNamara said that what was being proposed is still unclear. He also warned that Constitutional issues may arise. “I’m unclear, at this point, as to what exactly the government is proposing,” he said. “In general terms, under the Constitution, the assumption is that a Garda is an invitee at a person’s home. The household or ‘teaglach’ is inviolable. If Gardaí are asked to leave, they must do …

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Sunday update: 66 newly confirmed Covid cases nationwide

CLARE is among the counties to report positive Covid-19 cases today (Sunday, August 16). There have been 66 new cases nationally. There have been no new deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). There has now been a total of 1,774 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight Saturday, August 15, the HPSC has been notified of 66 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 27,257 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. Of the cases notified today; • 34 are men / 29 are women • 67% are under 45 years of age • 12 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case • 3 cases have been identified as community transmission • The remainder of these cases are still under investigation • 21 in Kildare, 16 in Dublin, 6 in Limerick, and the rest of the 23 cases are in Clare, Donegal, Laois, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, …

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Saturday update: 200 new confirmed Covid-19 cases

A TOTAL of 200 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed nationally today (Saturday, August 15). Clare is among the counties where new cases have been reported, however the worst affected county is Dublin, with 56 cases. There have been no new deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. There has now been a total of 1,774 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight Friday, August 14, the HPSC has been notified of 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 27,191* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.  Of the cases notified today; 103 are men / 96 are women 68% are under 45 years of age 68 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case 25 cases have been identified as community transmission 56 in Dublin, 81 in Kildare, 13 in Tipperary, 8 in Limerick, 6 Laois, 6 in Galway, 5 in Kilkenny, 5 in Meath and the rest …

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Comment: Covid doesn’t take a holiday

WE REALLY need a break. The last four and a half months, since the pandemic was declared, have taken a huge toll. With the possible exception of the Emmy-nominated actor, Paul Mescal – a man with West Clare ties, and for whom the last year has seen his star rise and rise – most of us would prefer to write off 2020. We have suffered grief and loss. We are struggling with terrible uncertainty about the future. Every single one of us has made heroic sacrifices and now fatigue is setting in. We are battle-weary. The sun is shining (occasionally) and there’s a lot of steam to be let off after our spring-time lockdown. Wouldn’t it be great to forget about everything, just for a while? It would be a big relief to pretend that Covid-19 never happened. That it isn’t happening. That it’s okay to go back to our old familiar ways – our cosy chats in close contact …

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