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Mater Hospital insists it reported all cases of Covid-19 amid controversy over delayed reporting

The hospital said it is working to understand how the data was not “accurately captured”.

Updated May 15th 2020, 4:16 PM

THE MATER HOSPITAL has said it is working with the HSE to understand why data on 244 positive cases of Covid-19 at the hospital “may not have been accurately captured”.

Yesterday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan reported 426 new confirmed cases of the disease.

However, he said many of these cases were not recent. 

Some 244 cases relate to one hospital that had a small number of cases each day, never going above ten. These numbers were accumulated and were reported as one group.

Today RTE reported the Mater Hospital is the hospital referenced yesterday.

In a statement, the hospital claimed it has reported all cases of Covid-19 positive results to the relevant authorities on a daily basis. 

“At all times the Mater Hospital provided the information that the HSE required and met all legal requirements to report infectious diseases,” it said.

“All of this information is correct and up to date. We are working with the HSE to understand why the provided data may not have been accurately captured. “

Dr Holohan yesterday said he was not sure whether contact tracing had taken place in these cases. 

In its statement, the Mater Hospital said it has carried out comprehensive contact tracing on every single member of staff who tested positive for Covid-19 through its occupational health department in line with best practice. 

“In excess of 300 staff at the Mater have tested positive for Covid-19 and a further 1500 have self-isolated following contact tracing to protect patients, fellow staff and the public – despite the enormous impact this has had on our operations. ”

The HSE has said it is currently reviewing how this occurred. 

Speaking on his way into Cabinet, Harris said he was “extremely disappointed” that these figures were not disclosed until yesterday.

“The rules are very clear in this regard. Infectious diseases, of which Covid-19 is one, is clearly one that would have to be reported and disclosed to the health authorities.”

“There is a legal requirement to disclose – the legislation is very clear on that,” he said.

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Speaking at the government’s briefing on the move into Phase One of the roadmap for easing restrictions, Harris said he noted the Mater’s statement in relation to contact tracing taking place. 

“This is a matter for Paul Reid and the HSE to investigate and provide an assurance to me in the department and that work is underway now,” he said. 

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy. 

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