IMO President concerned at continuing high rate of Covid-19 infection across the country
- Calls on public to redouble efforts to combat spread of Covid-19
- Warning that rising case numbers are impacting on hospital care and GP services for non Covid-19 patients
Sunday 7th November 2021. The President of the Irish Medical Organisation has expressed serious concern at the continuing high rate of Covid-19 infection across the country. Dr. Ina Kelly, who is a specialist in public health medicine, has warned that the continuing high rate of infection threatened the progress which the country has made against the virus over the past year.
Dr. Kelly said, “the next couple of weeks will be critical not just for the outlook on Covid but for the wider health service. Our GP surgeries, hospitals and ICU units are all under extraordinary pressure. We are being hit by a perfect storm of high Covid numbers, the annual winter flu season and shockingly high numbers on waiting lists.”
Dr. Kelly said that the public could help medical professionals by increasing their own vigilance and maintain a strong sense of personal responsibility in respect of Covid 19 “People have done incredibly well over the past 18 months but the weeks leading to Christmas will be critical. For those who have yet to be vaccinated, please get the vaccine as a matter of urgency. For those who have been vaccinated, don’t treat the vaccine as a permission-slip to return to the old ways. Continue to exercise caution. Wear masks. Wash hands and keep your distance. Now we have significantly opened up our economy it is even more important that we follow the basic public health measures. The ability to socialise more brings its own risks and we would ask everyone to ensure they socialise in safe environments where COVID protocols are adhered to. “
Dr. Kelly said the IMO was particularly concerned at the knock of from increased hospitalisation due to Covid; “Covid 19 cases in hospitals means fewer beds to treat non Covid cases. Our waiting lists are already in an appalling state. We can’t afford to lose hospital staff and hospital beds to Covid 19.”
Dr. Kelly also urged bars, restaurants and hospitality venues to be more vigilant about checking the vaccinated status of patrons: “While many are adhering to the protocols, we know there are a significant proportion that are not, and they are putting our hard-earned gains at risk. Everyone is fed up with the pandemic, but we have been through so much, endured so much now is not the time to lose our focus. And please be patient with healthcare workers in hospitals, in GP surgeries and in the community, we are working hard to do our best and we need your patience.”