Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn has appealed to health professionals not to attend work if they are symptomatic, following a rise in cases of Covid-19 among health workers over the past week.
Speaking at an online conference hosted by the National University of Ireland, Galway, yesterday, Dr Glynn told medical professionals watching that he had gone to work in the past while displaying symptoms of an illness.
He said it was not possible to continue in this manner during the pandemic.
“We have seen an increase in cases of healthcare workers over the past week in particular, including across our acute hospital system. I myself would have gone into work while symptomatic as a doctor,” he said.
“We all did it, we have all done it, regularly, but I would plead with people not to do that this winter.
“We simply cannot afford to have people going in to work this winter if there is any suggestion of Covid-19.
“Take care of yourself but also please have a lower index for making the call and saying ‘I can’t come in today’ if you do have symptoms. I know that doesn’t come naturally in particular to the community who are on this call this morning.”
Dr Glynn also asked staff to avail of the flu vaccine, where possible, ahead of the winter flu season.
“We need to do all we can to avoid a situation where people do have symptoms and where people do have illness because I think the health system will be under pressure and we need everyone, who can work, in and working.
“From my perspective, I take this opportunity to say that you all have a role to play. I think sometimes we downplay the influence we have on our patients and with the people we come into contact with every day.
“If they understand that surgeons, GPs and clinicians all across the country place importance on the basic behaviours, then they are much more likely to go out and model those behaviours.”
Source: Irish News