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03 Dec 2021

Dundalk TD says Covid-19 situation is precarious and that hospital staff are under 'severe pressure'

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Sinn Féin TD for Louth Ruairí Ó Murchú

A local Dundalk TD has raised concerns about the rising levels of Covid-19, saying that the situation is “precarious” with hospitalisations remaining high.

Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú was speaking last week during the debate on the extension of Covid-19 emergency powers, saying that people are examining the situation with trepidation.

“We accept that this pandemic is going to continue into the future and that we are still in an incredibly precarious situation,” said Deputy Ó Murchú.

“Many of us have probably enjoyed, for want of a better term, the reopening of certain events, but obviously we are looking at everything with trepidation as regards the numbers.”

He said that hospital staff are still under “severe pressure” and that a booster campaign for healthcare staff should have been done sooner.

As of 8pm on Sunday, November 7th, there are 27 Covid-19 patients being treated in Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda, with 486 being treated nationwide, according to the HSE’s Daily Operations Update.

Currently, the hospital has no available intensive care unit beds, with five patients currently receiving treatment for Covid-19 in the hospital.

Deputy Ó Murchú called for primary legislation to be brought in, rather than extensions of emergency powers every few months, to help tackle the anomalies that come with reopening.

“We must do everything possible from the point of view of reducing the pressure.

“We need to look at something closer to primary legislation rather than the continuity of emergency legislation. We need rules to be dealt with in the House, with back and forth regarding the rights and wrongs.

“We could deal with some of the anomalies that have occurred throughout the many levels and many reopenings. That is what must be done rather than this continuity of emergency legislation.”

Deputy Ó Murchú also raised the need for a public inquiry into Dealgan House Nursing Home, and that it has been over a year since Health Minister Stephen Donnelly liaised with the impacted families.

“As we are dealing with the issues in the pandemic, it would be remiss of me not to raise the Dealgan House Nursing Home and the fact that it is more than a year since the Minister engaged with the families,” said Deputy Ó Murchú.

“He said they need a mechanism to provide the truth. They need an answer as soon as possible.

“My view is that a public inquiry is the only thing that will work in that case.”

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