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Almost one in ten diagnosed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland are nurses

According to the INMO, Ireland faces one of the highest rates of diagnosed healthcare worker infection in Europe.

INMO's Phil Ní Sheaghdha
INMO's Phil Ní Sheaghdha
Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

NEARLY ONE IN 10 (9.2%) diagnosed Covid-19 cases in Ireland are nurses, according to HSE figures.

The figures, obtained by the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO), show that healthcare workers make up over a quarter of the Covid-19 positive cases tested in Ireland.

Out of the 9,599 cases diagnosed by 11 April, this amounted to 2,501 healthcare workers (26%), over a third (883) of whom were nurses.

According to the INMO, Ireland faces one of the highest rates of diagnosed healthcare worker infection in Europe.

Last week, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control found that, across Europe, between 9% and 26% of all diagnosed Covid-19 cases are in healthcare workers.

The INMO has called for action and clarity on the figures, including a universal face mask policy for all workers in healthcare settings, more frequent and detailed publication of statistics on healthcare worker infection, including the source of transmission.

The organisation has also called for updated guidance on PPE and for occupational health, ensuring that healthcare staff are given appropriate and safe time for self-isolation.

INMO general secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha, said: “The overall public health measures are having a welcome and substantial impact on the spread of Covid-19.

“Worryingly, rates of healthcare worker infection are on the rise.

“We need to urgently see a detailed breakdown of where the infection is occurring, in order to take rapid corrective action.

“That should include a review of policy to ensure everyone working in a healthcare facility has the appropriate level of PPE. It is consistently our members’ top concern.

“We also need to see these figures for healthcare workers published officially and regularly.

“Clarity and transparency on this issue will prevent unhelpful, runaway speculation which has caused great fears amongst our members and their colleagues in other professions.”

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