Coronavirus: 100 staff self-isolating at Cork University Hospital; Up to 1.9m could catch virus nationally

Coronavirus: 100 staff self-isolating at Cork University Hospital; Up to 1.9m could catch virus nationally
A woman wearing a face mask in Dublin City Centre

THE HSE's Chief Executive has said that staff returning to work at CUH will be regularly tested and clinically assessed in a bid to balance clinical risk with keeping hospitals functioning.

Chief Executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, was speaking to RTÉ's This Week programme when he said staff returning to work at CUH after isolation will be tested and clinically assessed on a regular basis, possibly twice a day.

Mr Reid said there are 100 staff at Cork University Hospital who are now in self-isolation as a result of a virus that was identified in a patient in recent days. When the case was initially discovered at the facility there were 60 staff told to self-isolate.

Deputy Chief Medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn
Deputy Chief Medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn

He added that the safety of frontline staff is being addressed and spoke about balancing clinical risk and keeping hospital services functioning.

Professor Sam McConkey has said the coronavirus outbreak here requires a "mobilisation" of government to respond to it effectively.

Professor McConkey said it will impact every government department, every private industry and every citizen "in a very radical way".

He spoke of the need for a re-allocation of around 5,000 public health workers to help out with contact tracing.

Professor McConkey added that a cross-party approach in government is needed to lead us out of this crisis.

The HSE has said that it cannot dispute projections that 1.9 million people in the Republic of Ireland may fall ill with coronavirus.

As first revealed by the Business Post, senior health officials believe up to 1.9 million people in Ireland could be infected and become sick.

Cork University Hospital will be reducing and rescheduling outpatient appointments from Monday to Wednesday. 

Pictured hand sanitizers at a press conference on COVID-19 Coronavirus 
Pictured hand sanitizers at a press conference on COVID-19 Coronavirus 

However, the following services will not be impacted: dialysis, dressing clinic, warfarin clinic, endoscopy, cystic fibrosis, infusions, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

All other appointments are being rescheduled unless patients are directly contacted by the hospital to attend their scheduled appointment.

Surgeries will proceed as normal unless patients are contacted by the hospital and advised otherwise.

A statement from the HSE said: "Cork University Hospital apologises for any inconvenience this may cause to patients."

If you have a query in relation to COVID- 19 please contact the national helpline on 1850-24-1850.

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