“Don’t go to the Christmas mass if you have Covid symptoms,” warns the chief medical officer

People with possible symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend Christmas mass or other religious ceremonies during the holiday season, while people in vulnerable groups are required to wear a face mask at such gatherings, the chief medical officer has warned.

As a precaution, all people should “take care of others” and wear a face mask in case others nearby are more susceptible to the virus, Dr. Breda Smyth added.

She spoke amid growing concerns about the rise in Covid-19 cases, with around one in five people eligible for a PCR test now testing positive.

There were 625 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 yesterday, up from 359 two weeks ago.

Only part is there due to complications of the virus and the rest were admitted because of other diseases but are positive for the virus.

Of these, 19 are in intensive care, which remains relatively stable but is still above 11 two weeks ago.

dr Smyth reiterated that those who are entitled to a Covid-19 vaccine or booster should take advantage of it.

This winter, problems for hospitals are compounded by the rise of influenza and other viruses such as RSV, which have mainly affected young children and the elderly.

The CMO said yesterday it “needs solidarity to care for one another” and this includes those at lower and highest risk wearing a face mask on public transport and in other crowded environments.

“During this shopping season it’s important to wear your mask,” she added, referring to the Christmas and New Year sales rush,” she said.

“Even the simple things like washing your hands are basic measures to protect everyone in the coming weeks.”

When asked about worship services, Dr. Smyth said there are many “vulnerable people attending church services.”

“If you have symptoms, you should not come to the service.

“If you are part of a vulnerable group, it is recommended that you wear a mask when in a crowded area.

“People who don’t belong to this vulnerable group can always take this protective measure to take care of others,” she said.

The big effort this month and early 2023 is to persuade people who are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine or flu vaccine to take up vaccination, thereby reducing their risk of infection and serious illness will.

People with possible symptoms of Covid-19 should stay away from gatherings, especially if they are at risk of spreading a virus to vulnerable people.

dr Smyth said it’s “great to see we’re getting back to a normal Christmas, but we’re seeing a surge in respiratory viruses and we’re in the eye of a respiratory storm over the holiday season”.

She said there had been a surge in cases of patients diagnosed with Covid in hospitals and this was going hand in hand with an escalation of the flu, which was worrying.

There has been an increase in children aged five to 14 with the flu who have been hospitalized.

People can reduce risk through vaccinations, including using the nasal vaccine in children, she told RTÉ.

Meanwhile, figures compiled by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO) show that so far in 2022, more than 118,662 patients have been without a hospital bed, making it the worst year for hospital overcrowding on record.

A total of 624 patients were bedless in Irish hospitals yesterday.

INMO Secretary General Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “Today’s trolley numbers are extremely worrying, with no sign of a reduction in pressure in our emergency departments compared to the previous December months.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/dont-go-to-christmas-mass-if-you-have-any-covid-symptoms-warns-chief-medical-officer-42237165.html “Don’t go to the Christmas mass if you have Covid symptoms,” warns the chief medical officer

Fry Electronics Team

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