A Cork GP has urged people not to ‘shame and blame’ anyone who is diagnosed with Covid-19 as rumours emerge about a number of cases of Covid-19 being identified on the northside of the city.
Dr John Sheehan said he had received a number of phone calls from patients in recent days who said they were concerned about possible exposure to individuals with Covid-19.
The Cork GP said that doctors had not received any notifications from public health, but were providing advice to anyone who was worried about the measures they can take to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19 as well as explaining how public health carry out their work.
“You do get calls, and this is natural when people are worried, of someone who was in contact with someone, who was in contact with someone and that’s not really regarded as a contact,” he said.
Dr Sheehan said that he expects that there will be more reports of Covid-19 cases and clusters in Cork as society continues to re-open.
“We are going to get more of these. We are going to get more of them in schools, we are going to get them in clubs, we are going to get them in workplaces as society reopens and as we go into the winter.
“We are going to have to learn how to manage to deal with these outbreaks. There’s always fear with it, there’s always concern with it,” he said.
“I think it just reaffirms the importance of doing what we are doing in terms of handwashing, distancing, face masks- all of those things because they really do matter,” he added.
The Cork GP added: “It’s important to get away from the idea of shaming and blaming people because I could get it, you could get it, any of us could get it even if we do everything right.”
He said that over the years this has been attached to nearly every illness.
"TB, HIV, mental health - there’s always an awful lot of judgement. Judgment comes into illness and is associated with blame. We need to move away from this and look at what we are doing ourselves and how can we reduce down risk by our own behaviour and there's a lot we can do by our own behaviour,” Dr Sheehan added.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin representative in the North West Ward, Cllr Mick Nugent said he was aware of the rumours circulating about cases being reported in the northside of the city.
He said it is important that people follow the Covid-19 guidance.
“If there are people travelling abroad to ‘red list' countries, then they should do the right thing when they come back. They need to follow the guidelines and restrict their movements. They need to do it for the people in their family, their friends and their community,” he said.