06 Oct 2022

One in ten coronavirus cases in Ireland are nurses

Nearly one in ten (9.2%) diagnosed Covid-19 cases in Ireland are nurses, according to HSE figures obtained by the INMO.

The figures 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 April 11, 2,501 were healthcare workers (26%) – over a third (883) of whom were nurses.

Ireland faces one of the highest rates of diagnosed healthcare worker infection in Europe. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control found on April 8 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; 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 Ní 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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