20 Apr COVID-19 cases in nursing
Nurses account for nearly one-in-ten COVID-19 cases
17 April 2020
Concerning figures released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) show that nearly one in every ten in Ireland who has contracted COVID-19 is a nurse. Healthcare workers make up over a quarter of positive cases in Ireland. The breakdown of healthcare workers diagnosed with COVID-19 (total of 2,501 at 11 April 2020) is as follows:
- Nurses – 35%
- Other allied HCW – 26%
- Healthcare assistants – 18%
- Doctors – 12%
- Porters – 2%
- Unknown – 8%
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has sought an immediate investigation into the procurement of personal protection equipment (PPE) following inconsistent supplies and reports of healthcare staff procuring their own PPE. The union has also sought a review of occupational health advice that granted derogations to essential workers who were suspected COVID-19 positive, or were close contacts of people with the virus, to work when asymptomatic within the 14-day quarantine period.
The union is seeking a universal face mask policy for all workers in healthcare settings; more frequent and detailed publication on healthcare worker infection, including the source of transmission; updated guidance on PPE and for occupational health which ensures healthcare staff are given appropriate and safe time for self-isolation.