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Cavan GP says Covid-19 situation has been 'horrendous' over the past few weeks

Cavan has the highest incidence rate in Ireland, with more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.

Image: Shutterstock/ldutko

A GP IN Cavan has said her practice is ”absolutely overwhelmed” at the moment in the county with the highest Covid-19 incidence rate in Ireland.

Dr Dara Hume, a GP at the Drumalee Cross Family Practice in Cavan, said the situation has been “horrendous over the past few weeks”. 

Cavan currently has a 14-day incidence rate of 1,055.5 cases per 100,000 people, the highest of any county. 

“We are absolutely overwhelmed, no question about it,” Hume said.  

“The numbers [of positive cases] in our practice have stabilised somewhat this week… But we are getting phone calls now from people who are ill from the high numbers last week, including some hospitalisations as well.” 

She said the additional task of arranging tests for people who believe they are a close contact of a confirmed case of Covid-19 has led to further “pandemonium” for GPs.

“It was foisted upon us,” she said. “We’re doing our best and we’re happy to help out, but unfortunately it always seems to come back to going to your GP.”

There were 804 Covid-19 cases confirmed in Cavan in the last 14 days, with 56 new cases confirmed yesterday. 

Hume concurred with what a number of GPs said last week regarding recent outbreaks linked to post-match parties. 

“There were big clusters after post-GAA celebrations and from one or two family gatherings as well,” Hume said. 

“I think what happens is when people are going to the shops or doing things like that, they’re being careful… However, when they’re in familiar territory in each others’ homes or mixing with family, they let their guard down and that’s how this virus spreads.” 

“You have to assume everybody has Covid and act accordingly,” she added.  

She said that from her experience, consultations with queries about mental health issues have increased. 

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“People are worried, anxious, frightened, isolated, lonely and all of this is particularly difficult for people who already have an underlying anxiety disorder or depression,” she said. 

“We don’t want people to think we are too busy or to think ‘my thing is not important’,” she said.  

The key to good health is knowing what is normal for you and recognising when something is different.

Peter McVitty, a Fine Gael councillor from the border town of Ballyconnell, said there have not been too many cases in his local area, but added that “on the whole, people are worried”.   

He put forward a proposal at a Cavan County Council meeting last week to introduce an all-island approach to dealing with Covid-19. 

I live within a mile of the border. So what happens in Ballyconnell, if it’s not the same regulations a mile down the road?” 

“We’re just appealing to people, for God’s sake, for the sake of their own family and the older generation and the vulnerable people, please abide by the rules and we can get out of this mess.”

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