Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris and the HSE to provide a full update on the escalating situation of COVID-19 infection clusters in nursing homes.
She has also asked them to outline what extra medical help is being provided to nursing homes to deliver additional care for residents who have COVID-19 and to help break the transmission of the virus.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we were warned that it affected older people more severely than the general population.
“Unfortunately, few precautionary structures were put in place to help protect nursing home residents and staff, and there was a delay in a plan and resources being enacted to tackle the virus in the nursing home sector.
“The situation has escalated to the point that there are now over 100 clusters of the virus in nursing homes across this State, and we have the second highest percentage of deaths from COVID-19 in care homes, at 54%, followed by Spain at 57%.
“The situation is a serious cause for concern. Many nursing home residents and their families, as well as staff, have contacted me about the situation.
“The Minister for Health and the HSE must provide a full update on the situation in nursing homes as well as outline in detail what extra medical help is being provided to nursing home to deliver additional care for residents who have COVID-19 and help try to break the transmission of the virus.”