Statement from the IHCA in response to latest restrictions announced by Government to contain the spread of coronavirus
The Irish Hospital Consultants Association today (Tuesday 24 March 2020) has welcomed the decision by the Government to introduce further restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Measures such as requiring all businesses other than those listed as essential services to close or further restrictions on public gatherings and the enforcement of these measures will be hugely important to tackling this virus.
From the perspective of the delivery of health services, healthcare workers and frontline services, in particular, it is very positive to see that priority testing is in place for healthcare workers.
Our health services will be hugely stretched over the coming days and weeks so ensuring that we have the maximum number of staff available to treat patients is essential. The quicker we can test and confirm the health status of frontline staff, the faster they can either self-isolate or return to work, if they test negative.
With almost one-in-four of all new cases of COVID-19 now being healthcare workers, it is also vital that those with the virus are tested and isolated as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of onward transmission to patients and their healthcare colleagues.
Hospital consultants have also urged the public to continue to adhere to the public health measures over the coming weeks.
According to IHCA President Dr. Donal O’Hanlon: “Our message to the public is clear. Please continue physical distancing, good hand hygiene and stay home as much as possible and if you have some or all the symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolate and contact the HSE helpline.
“Following this advice will protect you, your family, friends, community and our frontline staff who are working tirelessly to stop the spread of this virus.”