NURSES ACCOUNT for almost one in ten (9.2%) of all diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Ireland, figures obtained by the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO) have revealed.
The data obtained from Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) also revealed that healthcare workers represent over a quarter of the COVID-19 positive cases tested in Ireland.
Based on an analysis of 9,599 cases diagnosed by Saturday11 April, some 2,501 came from healthcare workers (26%) while over a third (883) were nurses.
The INMO has expressed concern over the figures with General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha highlighting that Ireland has among the highest rates of diagnosed healthcare worker infection in all of Europe.
They are calling for the introduction of face mask policy for all workers in healthcare settings, the regular and detailed publication of healthcare worker infection statistics and updated guidance on PPE and for occupational health.
“The overall public health measures are having a welcome and substantial impact on the spread of COVID-19. Worryingly, rates of healthcare worker infection are on the rise,” Ms Ní Sheaghdha said.
“We need to urgently see a detailed breakdown of where the infection is occurring, in order to take rapid corrective action. That should include a review of policy to ensure everyone working in a healthcare facility has the appropriate level of PPE. It is consistently our members’ top concern.
“We also need to see these figures for healthcare workers published officially and regularly. Clarity and transparency on this issue will prevent unhelpful, runaway speculation which has caused great fears amongst our members and their colleagues in other professions.”