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extreme pressure Mater Hospital issues plea for public to stay away as new record of 23,281 covid cases recorded

A record high of 23,281 new cases were recorded today

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Medics in PPE and ambulances outside the Mater Hospital in Dublin. There is a big concern within the health service over the number of staff who are absent from work because of Covid issues (PA)

Medics in PPE and ambulances outside the Mater Hospital in Dublin. There is a big concern within the health service over the number of staff who are absent from work because of Covid issues (PA)

Medics in PPE and ambulances outside the Mater Hospital in Dublin. There is a big concern within the health service over the number of staff who are absent from work because of Covid issues (PA)

The Mater Hospital in Dublin have issued a plea for the public to stay away from their emergency department.

It comes as Covid-19 pressure is mounting on the healthcare system as 23,281 new cases of the virus were confirmed today.

In a statement a spokesperson for the hospital said: “The Mater Hospital is appealing to the public, where possible, to avoid its emergency department.

“Hospital services are under extreme pressure due to a combination of large numbers of people contracting Covid, high numbers of presentations at the ED and high levels of staff absenteeism due to Covid-19.

“Patients who are presenting at our ED with non-urgent conditions are unfortunately experiencing lengthy waiting times to be seen.

“Where possible, the Mater advises patients with non-emergency conditions to seek assistance from other parts of the health service such as minor injury units or their GP.

“However, any patient who is in need of emergency hospital care will of course be seen and the Mater would urge such patients not to delay and to seek such care.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this causes to the public and thank them for their understanding and cooperation.”

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A nurse disinfects work surfaces at the Mater Hospital Covid-19 recovery ward in Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

A nurse disinfects work surfaces at the Mater Hospital Covid-19 recovery ward in Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

A nurse disinfects work surfaces at the Mater Hospital Covid-19 recovery ward in Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

Yesterday Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed that all over the age of 16 years can access the booster programme from tomorrow, Sunday January 2nd.

“From this Sunday all those aged 16 and older who are eligible to receive a booster vaccine can access this service via HSE vaccination centres,” he said.

“GPs and community pharmacies will also be providing this service, on an appointment basis.”

With a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, the roll out of the booster to over 16s was brought forward by over a week from January 10th.

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin, also confirmed the news.

“Our booster vaccine rollout will be open to all groups aged 16 and above from this Sunday.”

“You can book a Vaccine Centre appointment from tonight, or contact your GP or pharmacist.”

“Boosters are our best protection against Omicron, so please get one when you can.”

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