The health minister has warned that the impact of Covid-19 could last ‘many months’. Simon Harris has launched a drive for the recruitment of staff to the health sector.
There are now 292 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland and the number is expected to increase significantly over the next few days.
According to Breaking News, minister Harris asked for anyone who can join the battle against Covid-19 to come forward.
He called for “all hands on deck” to assist the health service and maintained there will be no restraints financially on the HSE to hire doctors and nurses. Mr Harris said:
“Your country needs you’ was a cliche in the past, but it is an actual call we are making here in Ireland.”
Those who can help were asked to contact the HSE to offer their services.
Today we launch a massive recruitment drive for the Irish health service. Nurses, doctors, healthcare assistants and all healthcare professionals, your country needs you! Go to https://t.co/FcV6QXIHGE & sign up if you think you can help #covid19 #coronavirus Please retweet!
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) March 17, 2020
In a report from the Press Association, the minister has hailed the next seven days as “critical in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus”.
In an effort to ensure that hospital capacity is at full, Mr Harris confirmed that the private sector has been in discussion with the HSE regarding the use of beds as well as facilities. Mr Harris has expressed confidence that an agreement can be reached.
Meanwhile, 30,000 testing kits for the disease are expected to arrive in Ireland tomorrow with concerns growing that supplies could run short over excess demand.
Of the thirty planned testing centres, 19 are now open including a facility at Croke Park in Dublin.
Press Association reports that Patients are told to drive in, with a mask on their face and stay in their car until called to a bay for testing. That will involve a swab of the nose and the throat.
The clinical lead of the HSE, Dr Colm Henry, has said there are many people waiting to get tested for Coronavirus.