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Ireland Coronavirus Ireland: HSE orders millions of masks and protective gear for frontline health workers fighting COVID-19

20:55  25 march  2020
20:55  25 march  2020 Source:   dublinlive.ie

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The HSE has ordered millions of masks and protective gear for health workers in the front line who are fighting the coronavirus.

Surgical masks, respirator masks, goggles and face shields are due for delivery in the next two weeks as the campaign to contain Covid-19 ramps up.

Related: For the global reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, click HERE

The HSE said in a statement yesterday they have adequate stock of critical supplies all across the country and that €90million has been invested in extra equipment.

It said despite market volatility and export bans from some countries the first batch order for protective gear is scheduled for delivery in the next two weeks.

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A spokesperson said: “This batch order includes 6.5 million surgical masks, 4.5 million respirator masks, one million goggles and one million face shields.”

Medical journal the Lancet reported that more than 3,300 healthcare workers have been infected as of early March and by the end of February at least 22 had died.

The leading publication said as the pandemic accelerates, access to personal protective equipment for health workers is a key concern.

Last night the HSE confirmed 102 new cases of coronavirus had been diagnosed here, bringing the total in the Republic to 785 and the all-island total to 893.

a close up of a piece of paper: Advice leaflets at the Coronavirus/COVID-19 advice stand at the arrivals baggage claim hall in Dublin Airport © Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin Advice leaflets at the Coronavirus/COVID-19 advice stand at the arrivals baggage claim hall in Dublin Airport

The HSE is now working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to curb further spread.

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Cases up to Thursday have been analysed, showing that of the 584 total 55 per cent are male and 44 per cent are female.

One in three cases has been hospitalised and the median age is 44. Some 29 clusters involving 157 cases have been detected.

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In all 13 cases have been admitted to ICU, which represents two per cent of all the cases hospitalised. One in four cases is associated with health care workers.

In cases where transmission status is known, community transmission accounts for 42 per cent, travel abroad for 35 per cent, and close contact for 23 per cent.

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Dublin has the highest number of cases at 55 per cent, followed by Cork at 15 per cent.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan yesterday urged the public to continue to heed Government measures to stop the spread of the deadly bug.

He warned: “The department is aware that pubs in some areas of the country are continuing to open, in contravention of existing public health advice.

“If any such premises become known to us, the Minister will be advised to use his regulatory powers to enforce the temporary closure of premises.

“We are also asking An Garda Siochana to assist in encouraging the public to abide by advice on social distancing by encouraging any groups congregating to disperse.”

a person wearing a costume © Image: China News Service via Getty Images

More than 10,000 people have so far been tested for Covid-19 as more testing centres are readied across the country.

The Irish naval vessel LE Samuel Beckett has been transformed into a testing centre which will operate from its docking point on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin.

Army engineers provided power and lighting for the ship while others erected tents along the quayside close to the Central Bank yesterday.

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The move is part of a major effort by the Defence Forces to support the health service’s response to the pandemic.

And construction has started on a new drive-thru testing centre in the heart of the midlands in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

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Another 35,000 testing kits will be available from today with a further 20,000 due to arrive next week, according to the HSE.

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ICU consultant Dr John Bates warned yesterday that Ireland is “still waiting for the surge” and that the number of cases has not yet peaked here.

He said: “Some equipment has been procured, more is due to arrive, but we’re not going to get as many as we need.

“We have to use the resources we have to the greatest good to save the maximum number of lives.

“We will do the best we can but it may be a very difficult situation. I think everybody is nervous. But I’ve never seen a group of people more ready to look after patients.”

Anyone who may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, is advised to contact HSE Live via 1850 24 1850 or on the HSE website here

If you are unwell with a cough, especially with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever) you should isolate yourself immediately and phone your GP

If you have a COVID-19 related travel query, you can call the dedicated advice centre on (01)613 1733.

Follow the government’s latest travel advice here

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