Other health services will continue despite coronavirus clusters
Elizabeth Canavan, Assistant Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach, has reiterated that other health services continue to operate at hospitals around the country.
Ms Canavan was responding to growing concerns and questions about appointments and other services within the system in light of the number of clusters of coronavirus cases in health facility settings.
According to the latest statistics from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, 647 healthcare workers have now been diagnosed with the virus. There are 118 clusters - a group of three or more people - of coronavirus in Ireland. 21 of those are in hospitals. A further five are in residential institutions.
"I would like to confirm that we are aware of public health concerns being raised in relation to areas such as testing, clusters and masks. These matters are covered by the Chief Medical Officer and the Health Service Executive and are being addressed on an ongoing basis in their briefings," Ms Canavan said.
"I mentioned this yesterday, but want to reiterate that other parts of the health service continue to operate. You should check in with your doctor or hospital if you have an appointment unless it has been specifically cancelled.
"Most importantly, if you need urgent or emergency care, if you have for example heart attack or stroke symptoms, don’t hesitate - go to the emergency department or call an ambulance."
She also restated the public health advice we must follow to protect ourselves and others from this virus:
- wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
- practice good coughing and sneezing etiquette
- and continue to observe social distancing
- remember you are part of the front line