“Double down” on efforts to curb spread of COVID – HSE West Director

Galway Daily news NUI Galway's Prof Breda Smyth taking over as interim Chief Medical Officer

The Director of Public Health at HSE West has urged people in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon to stay home unless absolutely necessary amid the third wave of COVID-19.

Dr Breda Smyth said in a statement that we need to double down in our efforts to comply with public health advice in order to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19.

There were 6,110 new cases reported yesterday, as the surge in cases since the Christmas period has continued unabated.

“Over the last number of weeks we are seeing a rapid increase of cases of confirmed COVID-19 across Galway, Mayo and Roscommon as we have across the country.”

“This rapid rise in infections is having a very serious impact on the number of people hospitalised and the number of patients requiring critical care in our ICUs.”

“We must do all we can to protect our hospital services so they are available to provide critical and emergency care to our communities when they need it.”

“We have seen a doubling of the number of patients in hospital since last week and this is extremely concerning for us.”

The latest figures from the HSE show that there are 47 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at UHG, and another five at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

Four of the COVID patients at University Hospital Galway are in the ICU, as is one of the patients at Portiuncula Hospital.

Galway University Hospitals have cancelled all outpatient appointments, and all but the most critical or time sensitive surgeries due to the rapid rise in cases.

“Community transmission is extremely high. We must act as if every person we meet is an infection risk.

“Everything we touch outside our home is an infection risk. We must stay home as much as possible. We all need to think about the impact that being diagnosed with COVID-19 would have on those close to us.

“We have started the vaccination roll-out in the hospital system this week and the roll-out in our long-stay facilities will begin over this week and the next.”

“It is critical that we continue to do all we can to protect our loved ones while the vaccine is rolled out.”