Parts of CIT campus could be used as field hospital if coronavirus crisis worsens in Cork

Parts of CIT campus could be used as field hospital if coronavirus crisis worsens in Cork
Picture: Denis Scannell

CORK Institute of Technology (CIT) has had requests from the health authorities regarding facilities and skilled staff members who may be suitable for roles in the health sphere.

In a statement to The Echo, the Institute said: “We are reviewing potential areas but these are probably quite limited given the requirement for toilets/showers in close proximity.

“CIT has also had requests for suitably qualified laboratory and other health staff. We are advising staff that they may volunteer for such duty and that we will support them in terms of pay, HR, etc.” The Institute said that the health authorities were also looking at student accommodation but CIT does not have any.

The President of the University of Limerick Dr Des Fitzgerald has also said that UL is likely to be used as a field hospital in the coming weeks and months.

Dr Des Fitzgerald, who is a cardiologist and former Professor of Molecular Medicine at UCD and Chief Academic Officer of the Ireland East Hospital Group, said this was likely to happen as the health service becomes overwhelmed in the coming weeks and months.

Dr Fitzgerald also said that the college was working with the HSE with regards to contact tracing and testing.

The UL President explained the college was working on a tracking system that could use mobile phone geolocation data to map people who may have been in contact with an individual with a positive diagnosis.

Speaking to The Limerick Leader, Dr Fitzgerald said: “We do not take these decisions lightly. None of us has ever faced anything like this in our lifetimes but we do have it within our power to influence how dire this does or does not become. Social gatherings are still taking place, and at a level where there is disregard for everyone’s public safety.

“People must take personal responsibility to try and slow down this virus and try to save lives….

“We have to do anything and everything to stop this awful virus spreading. The professionals will do their part, so you must do your part. Stop this virus spreading - stay apart. People in Limerick must stop meeting, stop this disease - party when it is over, not now.” University College Cork has been contacted for comment.

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