GPs to get personal protection packs for coronavirus from HSE

GPs to get personal protection packs for coronavirus from HSE
File photo.

The HSE has begun delivering personal protection packs to GPs as part of coronavirus preparation measures in Ireland.

The health authority's chief executive Paul Reid tweeted that the first of the packs for GPs were “ready to roll” from Monday.

It will take between a week to 10 days for the health authority to distribute the packs to around 4,500 different sites.

The packs include a gown, gloves, mask and goggles to be worn by doctors if a patient who may have the virus comes in to see them.

Meanwhile, a 4th person has tested positive for coronavirus in Britain.

England's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said the patient had been transferred to a specialist centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

“We are now using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible spread of the virus,” said Prof Whitty.

He said the patient followed advice from the National Health Service by self-isolating rather than going to a hospital emergency department.

Mr Reid has sought clarification from the Department of Health on the policies that would apply on both sides of the border if cases occurred in Ireland.

The HSE is anxious to know the arrangements that would be made in areas where cross-border co-operation in health is well-established.

Many of the symptoms of coronavirus can be treated. The type of treatment will be based on the patient's clinical condition.

According to the HSE, what is known so far is the majority of cases have had a mild illness.

More severe symptoms have occurred in 20% of cases and those who have died have mostly been in the older age groups and those with underlying chronic conditions.

A consultant in infectious diseases has outlined three possible scenarios for Ireland in dealing with a potential outbreak.

Prof Sam McConkey said in the best-case scenario, between 50 and 200 suspected cases of coronavirus would be promptly detected and isolated.

Should one or two patients test positive, Ireland is well prepared to care for them in isolation until they recover, he wrote in a Sunday newspaper.

In a situation where the suspected case numbers ere small and the virus detected and diagnosed quickly, there would be no real risk to the population.

However, Ireland could be hit with the equivalent of another flu season, and he was concerned about the ability of the health service to cope with the extra pressure.

There is no doubt that it would put untold pressure on our already overcrowded hospital emergency rooms.

The “worst possible” outcome would be if the spread of the virus in Ireland mimics that of China, infecting up to 20% of the population.

In most cases, patients would experience mild symptoms like that of the flu – a fever cough, runny nose and a headache.

However, a small number might experience significant symptoms and require specialised medical care, such as oxygen therapy.

“This scenario would be the most disruptive of all and likely to cause a temporary halt to typical daily life for Irish people as we attempt to corral the spread of the virus," he warned.

More on this topic

Coronavirus: Americans from quarantined cruise ship fly home from JapanCoronavirus: Americans from quarantined cruise ship fly home from Japan

40 US citizens on quarantined cruise ship tested positive for coronavirus40 US citizens on quarantined cruise ship tested positive for coronavirus

More than 3,000 tested in UK for coronavirusMore than 3,000 tested in UK for coronavirus

‘Millions’ with flu symptoms in UK may need to ‘self-isolate’ due to coronavirus‘Millions’ with flu symptoms in UK may need to ‘self-isolate’ due to coronavirus


More in this Section

Masked men condemned for shooting in house with four childrenMasked men condemned for shooting in house with four children

'One in a million': Ghost ship from African coast washes up on rocks in Cork'One in a million': Ghost ship from African coast washes up on rocks in Cork

Storm Dennis: Hailstones the size of marbles fall in KilkennyStorm Dennis: Hailstones the size of marbles fall in Kilkenny

Gardaí concerned for well-being of missing Wicklow womanGardaí concerned for well-being of missing Wicklow woman


Lifestyle

When Marisa Murphy went to play as a teenager on Dinish Island, she could still see the flowers growing among the ruins in her grandmother’Islands of Ireland: Barely inhabitated Dinish became an industrial zone

MAC make-up artist Lucy Bridge shares her tips backstage at Roland Mouret.How to create the perfect matte red lip, according to a backstage beauty expert

New trends include chunky heeled boots, silver belts and lots of plaid from the British designer.Victoria Beckham got ‘rebellious’ for her new collection – as David and family watched on

When horses were shown photographs of angry human faces, their hearts speeded up.Jackass penguin talk is similar to humans

More From The Irish Examiner