A Cork GP has urged people to reduce their social contacts to help keep the Covid-19 virus out of hospitals, nursing homes and workplaces.
Dr Nuala O’Connor, Clinical Lead on Covid-19 at the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) voiced concern about rising Covid case numbers, particularly in Dublin, and said people need to remain vigilant about Covid-19.
“Cases are rising, especially in Dublin and that is a worrying trend. We are asking people to limit their social contacts – we are asking people to live their lives – just differently,” Dr O’Connor said.
“Dublin numbers have increased ten-fold in the past two months. If this continues, we won’t be able to continue to protect our older population and those who are medically vulnerable who run the risk of a more severe course and higher risk of dying from Covid-19.
“We will struggle to keep the virus out of hospitals, nursing homes, or direct provision centres or workplaces. We want our schools and colleges to stay open. We don’t want to return to the situation in March, but we now know the most effective way to beat the virus and keep the numbers down,” she added.
Dr O’Connor urged people to remember the essential advice: “wash your hands, maintain a two-metre distance, wear a mask on public transport and indoor public spaces. Do welcome people into your home but only 6 from one household in Dublin and 6 from 3 households in all outer counties.”
The Cork GP said that if people develop any symptoms of Covid-19 the most important thing is to self-isolate and stay away from work, school or creche.
“Please phone your GP for free referral for a Covid test but please be patient as the phone lines are very busy.There is a lot of information on www.hse.ie.
“GPs are busy but do have the capacity to deal with calls and arrange tests if necessary. People are particularly urged not to ignore the non-Covid-19 illnesses – such as possible cancers, diabetes or other chronic illnesses,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Irish College of General Practitioners has welcomed the Government’s roadmap for managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Mary Favier, ICGP Covid-19 Adviser and Cork GP said: “This framework for the next six months will help GPs and the health services to plan and protect our vulnerable. We urge people to be as vigilant as possible. The vast majority of people with symptoms of an infection do not have Covid-19 but testing is vital to help individuals and families keep the schools and the economy open.”