A Donegal GP says mask-wearing needs to be advised until the number of cases begins to go down
A Donegal GP says a surge in Covid cases has resulted in “much more covid than we have seen before”.
Dr Denis McCauley said his Stranorlar practice is seeing a lot of Covid with some people getting “quite ill”.
“We are seeing much more covid than we have seen before,” he told RTÉ.
"Naturally there is a lot of illness, people getting quite sick, quite ill - people not getting very ill, thankfully".
He said the vast majority of symptoms remain the same with respiratory symptoms, sore throat and sinus infection, although there has been a slight increase in patients with gastrointestinal symptoms.
People need to be "sensible and responsible,” he said.
"We are just in a little bit of denial.”
The warning comes as Letterkenny University Hospital continues to deal with a high number of Covid-19 cases. The number of cases in hospitals around the country is at the highest level in recent months.
Letterkenny University Hospital had 82 confirmed cases on Tuesday night, with one of those in the intensive care unit. There were 1,395 cases in hospitals around the country on Wednesday morning.
Donegal has recorded 2,238 confirmed cases in the latest 14-day period. The incidence rate in the county is 1,404.8 cases per 100,000 population compared to the national average of 1,493.7.
Dr McCauley, who is chair of the Irish Medical Organisation's GP committee, said mask-wearing needs to be advised until the number of cases begins to go down.
He said he would have preferred if mandatory mask-wearing had not been removed until the end of March.
"Put your mask in your back pocket again. Have it with you. If you're going to an indoor area, wear your mask again. If you're in a large populated area outside and there's a lot of people around, wear your mask.”
The numbers are very high and a small proportion of people are getting quite ill and end up going to hospital, he said.
"Something is occurring now. I think we need to take action and that action initially is people just to say actually there is a problem and we advise everybody just stand back and be careful now for the next couple of weeks and hopefully then we can continue to enjoy ourselves without anything mandatory coming in."
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