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Nursing Homes Get A Helping Hand

Just announced this afternoon by Simon Harris TD, a new scheme of temporary assistance payments is being put in place to support nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

There are now 40 clusters of Covid-19 in Irish nursing homes – although Greystones appears not to be on that list.

According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, a cluster is determined as three or more cases in an institution within a 72-hour period.

The Minister For Health was taking part in the weekly teleconference of medical leaders alongside Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, held this morning at the Department Of Health.

Today’s announcement comes after the chief executive of the Health Service Executive, Paul Reid, last night revealed that teams of senior nurses and public health doctors would be sent into nursing homes to aid in the fight against Covid-19.

Reid also stressed that agency nursing staff would not be attending multiple nursing homes.

Yesterday’s latest Covid-19 figures saw the biggest rise in daily recorded deaths, with 22 more people passing away due to Covid-19 in the Republic – the highest daily pandemic number so far. With the total number of deaths now at 120, the figures up to midnight on Wednesday, April 1st reveal that of the 113 deaths at that point, 90% were people over 65

Dr Cillian De Gascun, chair of the HSE coronavirus group and director at the National Reference Laboratory at UCD, stated that healthcare workers “across the board” are being prioritised for testing. He also said that it is “certainly possible” that we will have to live with some kind of restrictions until a vaccine for Covid-19 is developed.

Dr Sarah Doyle, a HSE specialist in public health medicine, said that the days ahead will remain challenging, but, “you need to look at it as a public health measure. We are still learning about the disease.”

Going on to stress that it is crucial people get out and exercise each day, Dr Doyle also spoke of those struggling to self-isolate. “People really want to help,” she says, “and it’s just a matter of putting your hand up. If someone hasn’t anyone to look after them, there are supports for them – supermarkets, GAA clubs and local authorities.”

Dr Doyle finished by saying that the Covid-19 restrictions will not end quickly. “It will be a slow lifting of measures,” she stated. “We need to remember why we are doing this.

“The next seven days will be critical.”