Covid-19: Harris to discuss measures for 'minding and protecting' nursing home residents

Covid-19: Harris to discuss measures for 'minding and protecting' nursing home residents

The Health Minister will meet top officials today to arrange for new measures to tackle Covid-19 in nursing homes.

There are now 17 clusters of the coronavirus in nursing homes across the state.

Simon Harris says he is very worried about the prevalence of the illness among older people.

“I am concerned to see a significant amount of infection now breaking out in a number of nursing homes,” said Mr Harris.

“We’ll be meeting with the nursing home sector and also, and very importantly, the Chief Medical Officer is having a number of meetings in advance of the National Public Health Emergency Team meeting on Tuesday.

“And I expect you’re going to see a number of measures aimed at minding and protecting those who are in our nursing homes and also other long term residential facilities.

“And also our staff how work there.”

Meanwhile, consultant geriatrician Mike O’Connor has called on people over the age of 70, those who have had transplant surgery or are receiving chemotherapy to not leave their homes and to adhere to calls to cocoon.

“These are measures that are very clear. Do not leave the house, do not go out shopping.

“This sounds very draconian, but the purpose it to protect.”

Dr O’Connor urged elderly people with other conditions that need to be monitored to stay in contact with their health care practitioner by telephone with any queries.

Yesterday it was announced that 10 more people in Ireland had died after contracting Covid-19.

It brings he death toll since the beginning of the outbreak to 46.

There have also been 200 new confirmed cases of the virus in the country – bringing the total to 2,615.

- with reporting from Vivienne Clarke

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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