28 May 2022

Nurses warn scrapping of face masks could lead to pressure on health service

Nurses warn scrapping of face masks could lead to pressure on health service

File Photo

Irish nurses have asked the government to consider the health implications of removing the mandatory wearing of fasks masks in settings like retail and on public transport.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has urged caution and suggested a lifting of mask-wearing measures outside healthcare settings could eventually lead to increased pressure on them in hospitals around the country.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is urging Government to take serious caution when it comes to implementing this advice and take on board the current ability of the public health system to cope with additional pressure that the removal of the mask requirement may have on the health system.

“There is a clear link between reduced transmission and mask wearing. Removing the mask requirement in congregated settings particularly with poor ventilation, such as public transport, could have a detrimental impact.

“Our hospitals are under severe pressure. As of this morning, 15,705 patients have been without a bed in our hospitals so far this year.  Our nurses and midwives have been dealing with overcrowding coupled with COVID transmission and are burnt out and exhausted. We cannot have a case of increased COVID transmission within our hospitals at this juncture.

“The pandemic is far from over for nurses and midwives. Government needs to exercise caution when it comes to your easing mask requirements. Until Government makes headway into dealing with the trolley crisis, the mask mandate should remain in place.”


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