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Health service chief – pandemic quickly worsening

Paul Reid urged members of the public to ‘get real’ and play their part in protecting patients and health workers.

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The Covid-19 pandemic is worsening at pace, the head of Ireland’s health service Paul Reid warned (Niall Carson/PA)

The Covid-19 pandemic is worsening at pace, the head of Ireland’s health service Paul Reid warned (Niall Carson/PA)

The Covid-19 pandemic is worsening at pace, the head of Ireland’s health service Paul Reid warned (Niall Carson/PA)

The Covid-19 pandemic is worsening at pace, the head of Ireland’s health service warned.

Paul Reid urged members of the public to “get real” and play their part in protecting patients and health workers.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has pledged extra resources to a health system bracing itself for the most difficult of winters.

The HSE chief executive said: “Covid-19 is worsening at pace.

“We all need to get real and play our part to protect patients and our healthcare workers.

“Increased hospital cases lead to more people in intensive care units and cancelling heart, cancer and other care.

“Let’s turn this around quickly by doing the right thing today.”

Mr Martin also urged people to change behaviour to make level three restrictions work, protect lives and livelihoods.

He said an unprecedented level of funding has been allocated to the health service.

That includes planning for the winter and next year.

He said: “This will enable them to cope with Covid-19, and will ensure a reformed and better health service for the future.”

At midnight last Tuesday, the Government moved the country to level three of the plan for living with Covid-19.

Level three involves a greater level of restrictions on people and society, particularly on the hospitality sector.

It is being accompanied with stronger compliance measures.

The Taoiseach added: “If we all change our behaviours and work together we can make level three work, protect lives and livelihoods, show that we can contain the virus and prevent its growth.”

He said the reopening of schools has shown what can be done with collective effort and compliance with safety guidance and sensible measures.

“As a result, the mental, educational and physical wellbeing of our nation’s children has been protected and enhanced.

“Keeping our schools open remains a key priority of government, to ensure that the life chances of our young people will not be impaired.”

The Taoiseach added: “An unprecedented level of resources have been allocated to the health services, both in the winter plan and throughout the entirety of 2021.”

Covid-19 is challenging countries across Europe and throughout the world.

He added: “The coming weeks will be challenging but working with Nphet, we will respond firmly and appropriately.

“We have the capacity and resources to come through this and we will.

“The essential steps remain the same.

“Reduce our social contacts, wash our hands, mask up and behave as if you have the virus.

“Stay safe.”

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Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said he was very worried about the numbers and how quickly they were deteriorating (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said he was very worried about the numbers and how quickly they were deteriorating (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said he was very worried about the numbers and how quickly they were deteriorating (Brian Lawless/PA)

Another three people have died with Covid-19, as infections surged above 1,000 in one day in Ireland.

A total of 31 people are in hospital intensive care units.

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said he was very worried about the numbers and how quickly they were deteriorating.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is to unveil Budget 2021 on Tuesday.

Online Editors