Follow the guidelines and save lives, urge Cork health chiefs 

Follow the guidelines and save lives, urge Cork health chiefs 

Public health specialists and hospital chiefs in Cork have urged the public to save lives by ensuring that they follow government and public health guidelines in the fight against Covid-19.

PUBLIC health specialists and hospital chiefs in Cork have urged the public to save lives by ensuring that they follow government and public health guidelines in the fight against Covid-19.

Cork has seen a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in recent days, leading to calls from the Director of Public Health for the HSE South and the Chief Operations Officer for the South/South West Hospital Group (S/SWHG), for the public to do more. 

More than 100 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Cork over the past three days, including 54 on Sunday and 40 yesterday. 

With cases on the rise, the Rebel County is on the brink of level three restrictions. 

Nationally, more than 350 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Tuesday evening, while one additional death was also confirmed.

The global Covid-19 death toll surpassed the one million mark in recent days.

Speaking to The Echo, Dr Anne Sheahan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine and Director of Public Health HSE South, said we all have a role to play in the fight against Covid-19.

“It’s up to all of us,” she explained.

“We did extremely well for the last number of months and were able to keep the number of cases down.

“Then people started to get a bit more complacent and socialising with things reopening - the economy did have to reopen - but we have seen a worrying increase in Covid-19 cases in the last 12 days or so,” she added.

“I think if the public starts doing the things we were doing well again, we can see the rates go down again.

“That means stepping back, the social distance, not socialising as much as some people are at the moment, better hand hygiene.

“I do believe we can bring the rates of Covid-19 down again.” 

Dr Sheahan also urged members of the public to get tested if they exhibit Covid-19 symptoms.

She also emphasised the importance of people who are a confirmed case of the virus ensuring that they self-isolate for two weeks.

Dr Sheahan admitted that it is worrying to see the increase of Covid-19 in Cork as health services prepare for what is predicted to be a difficult winter.

“It is a concern that flu could come in on top of it and we don’t know what impact that might have.

“When you look at Australia, the flu season didn't appear to impact them much but that might be different here.

“The thing is, the measures we can take to prevent the spread of the flu are the same as those used in the fight against Covid,” she added.

“If people continue to social distance, wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, we hopefully won’t get as severe a flu season as we might have had before.” 

Meanwhile, the South/South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) has urged members of the public to take action by reducing their social contacts and keeping their distance from others.

Hospitals want to remind people again that they can save lives by following government and public health guidelines.

“The incidence rate in Cork is increasing at an alarming rate,” said Dr Orla Healy, Chief Operations Officer and Covid-19 lead for the SSWHG.

“We are strongly urging members of the public to continue to abide by the guidelines regarding Covid-19 and in particular to reduce their social contacts and keep their distance from others.

“Not adhering to these guidelines will inevitably place extra pressure on the hospital system, which unfortunately could seriously impact you, your family, your neighbours or your friends,” she added.

“People should be aware that our hospitals remain open for people who are unwell and need urgent treatment.” 

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