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Covid, Flu, RSV… all of Ireland in grip of winter illnesses….

DUBLIN: Winter sickness has gripped the entire island of Ireland. Viruses such as COVID, flu, and RSV are causing concern. To address this, the National Crisis Management Team (NCMT) was formed, led by senior health professionals and comprised of representatives from HSE hospital groups and community health care organisations. This week, the NCMT met twice. The HSE stated that the team will be active throughout the holiday season.

In the coming days, there may be an influx of people to the hospital due to influenza and covid infections. The HSE estimates that the health sector of the country will have to face a pressure that has never been seen before.
The rise in respiratory illnesses is taking a toll on hospitals and emergency departments, putting more pressure on GPs and GP out-of-hours services.

By early January, winter diseases are expected to be widespread. At least 900 people may arrive as flu patients in the first week alone.This number is expected to rise even further. At the same time, 1,200 people have been admitted to hospitals due to the spread of lung diseases. There are also 656 people in the hospital with COVID. 26 of them are in intensive care units.

HSE Chief Executive Stephen Mulvany stated that plans have been put in place to deal with the health sector’s strain. He urged all those eligible to get vaccinated. Dr. Breda Smyth, Chief Medical Officer, has advised people suffering from COVID not to attend Christmas Masses or other religious ceremonies or celebrations during the holiday season.

The general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization, Phil Ni Sheaghdha, has urged managers to ensure that frontline staff are available over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Therefore, they requested all possible support. They reminded that HSE should be ready to provide all the resources, including additional staff, at least until the end of February.

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