A HOSPITAL in Dublin which specialises in treating patients with cancer has had protective medical gear stolen by opportunistic thieves.
St Luke's Hospital in Rathgar, Dublin, which is the primary national centre for radiotherapy treatment and which treats patients from across Ireland, is a part of the HSE's Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG).
The DMHG yesterday released a statement on behalf of St Luke's, which confirmed that the hospital had "experienced the removal of a portion of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPV)".
The statement was seen by FM104 journalist Mike Gilmore, who says sources close to the hospital have stated that "several thousand' facemasks have been stolen.
Patients who are receiving treatment for cancer are often left immunocrompromised, meaning they have a reduced ability to fight infections and are far more at risk from COVID-19 than other people.
Breaking: Midlands Hospital Group confirms the theft of personal protective equipment from St. Luke's Hospital in Rathgar. Sources close to the hospital say the theft relates to several thousand face masks. pic.twitter.com/0pf8A9xwkj
— Mike Gilmore (@MikeGilmore08) March 9, 2020
The hospital acknowledged this in the statement, saying it is "extremely unfortunate given the vulnerability of the patients who attend these services".
St Luke's was quick to reassure worried patients that despite the callous theft, the hospital is in posession of more protective gear, including face masks, and are restocking supplies and implementing additional secutity measures in storage.
The statement finished: "It is incumbent on all to ensure that our infection and prevention control measures for the most vulnerable are not compromised at any time."
Some opportunists have taken to the streets of Dublin selling face masks for a high profit amid the growing fear over the virus.