Sinn Fein MLA Colm Gildernew has said the Department of Health must be ready and prepared to tackle clusters of COVID-19 across the north.
Following news of a second cluster of COVID-19 at Craigavon Area Hospital, and amid rising numbers of cases, the Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson said:
“Twenty members of staff at Craigavon Respiratory Emergency Department are self-isolating after colleagues tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“This afternoon we learned that a second cluster of COVID-19 has been identified at Craigavon Area Hospital in the Haematology ward, with both patients and staff affected. It is not clear how the outbreaks will impact upon already stressed hospital services.
“The number of care homes with a confirmed outbreak of the virus is also rising, and 47 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours.
“At this point we find ourselves in a precarious situation and it is vital that we continue our vigilance across the north.
“The Department of Health’s responsibility has not changed and there must be optimal levels of testing, tracing and isolating of the COVID-19 virus.
“We all must practice excellent standards of hand hygiene and social distancing, and I encourage everyone to wear face coverings where appropriate or required.
“This virus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future and we all must play our part in keeping our society and citizens safe.”