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1 in 10 COVID cases are nurses - INMO
Press Release - 17.4.20
 
Nearly one in ten (9.2%) diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Ireland are nurses, according to HSE figures obtained by the INMO.
 
The figures show that healthcare workers make up over a quarter of the COVID-19 positive cases tested in Ireland.
 
Out of the 9,599 cases diagnosed by the 11th of April, this amounted to 2,501 healthcare workers (26%) – over a third (883) of whom were nurses.
 
Ireland faces one of the highest rates of diagnosed healthcare worker infection in Europe. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control found on 8th of April that across Europe, “between 9% and 26% of all diagnosed COVID-19 cases are in healthcare workers.”
 
The INMO has called for action and clarity on the figures, including:
 
- A universal face mask policy for all workers in healthcare settings,
- More frequent and detailed publication of statistics on healthcare worker infection, including the source of transmission,
- Updated guidance on PPE and for occupational health, ensuring that healthcare staff are given appropriate and safe time for self-isolation.
 
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
 
“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.
 
“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.”
 
-end-
 

Notes to editors:

- The INMO’s letter to the HSE over these figures is available here.

 

- Figures on healthcare worker COVID-19 rates are below. They were obtained from the HSE following requests from the INMO. The data is collated on a weekly basis, with the latest figures running until midnight on the 11th of April.

 

Table 1: Number and proportion of HCW COVID-19 cases by week

Week (Calendar date)

Number of HCWs

Total number of cases

Proportion of HCWs

10 (1 – 7, March)

2

16

13%

11 (8 – 14, March)

23

129

18%

12 (15 – 21, March)

202

691

29%

13 (22 – 28, March)

427

1645

26%

14 (29 March – 4 April)

824

2471

33%

15 (5 – 11, April)

1023

4647

22%

Total

2501

9599

26%

 

Table 2: Number and proportion of HCW COVID-19 Cases by role

HCW Role

Number

Percentage

Nurse

883

35.3%

Other allied HCW

639

25.5%

Healthcare assistant

445

17.8%

Doctor

287

11.5%

Porter

37

1.5%

Unknown

210

8.4%

Total

2501

100.0%

 

Analysis from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Europe-wide healthcare worker infection is here: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/rapid-risk-assessment-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic-eighth-update

 

 

 
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