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100 nurses were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection; Cork University Hospital ward closed

CORK: A ward at Cork University Hospital was closed after 100 nurses were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection. Staff shortages intensified as COVID-19 affected a group of nurses.

Cork University Hospital has confirmed that it has been experiencing an influx of patients over the past three days. In some parts of Cork, the number of COVID patients has more than quadrupled in 10 days. Several clusters have formed in the north and east Cork as well as parts of Cork city.

Of the 3,394 cases confirmed by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on Saturday, 389 were in Cork. All of this pressure comes from CUH, the acute referral hospital for the entire southern region. The Hospital Group urged people to seek assistance from their GP. Hospital management also urged people to consider going to emergency departments, including the Mercy Urgent Care Centre on the St Mary’s Campus, and local injury units in Mallow and Bantry.

Demand of INMO

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO) warned that Irish hospitals are under severe pressure following the third wave of COVID-19. INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that the number of sick employees is rising sharply.

“COVID is creating more patients while also depleting staffing. It’s a vicious combination. Staff are far more experienced than they were at the start of this pandemic, but the sheer numbers are difficult to cope with. Frontline staff are running three services in parallel – a COVID health service, a non-COVID health service, and a mass vaccination scheme. This can only work if pressure on our hospitals is eased,” she said.

The General Secretary urged the public to strictly follow the health guidelines to avoid a crisis in the health sector. “On behalf of Ireland’s nurses and midwives, the INMO is asking that the public stay home and strictly follow public health advice. The vaccine is being rolled out – we simply need to keep cases down,” she said.

The government and HSE must focus on supporting the exhausted frontline healthcare workers. This means taking on additional capacity in the private sector and ensuring the childcare needs of frontline workers are taken into account,” she added.

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