BY EMMA CONNOLLY
AND JACKIE KEOGH
DO yourself and the health system a favour and get vaccinated against Covid-19.
That’s the message from Dr Jason van der Velde, consultant in emergency medicine in CUH and founder of West Cork Rapid Response who said: ‘People should take note that those who are properly sick in hospital right now with Covid are those who are not vaccinated.
‘You do not want to end up like that – it’s meaningless.’
He acknowledged that people may be indifferent to hearing that the health system is under pressure: ‘I get that. I also get that people have done their bit for the pandemic.’
However he said the health system is at a critical junction where urgent care is severely impacting how they deal with emergency care. Urgent care, he said, is someone suffering chest pain; an emergency is where someone stops breathing.
He said the problem comes down to a lack of capacity in the system.
‘CUH is full of urgent care cases, and for the first time it’s impacting on emergency care. We just don’t have space for real emergencies.
‘And that’s before you even bring Covid into the equation. That’s why it’s fundamental that people stay on their guard and get vaccinated. Do yourself and everyone a favour and just do it.’
Dr. Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, Department of Health said that the incidence of Covid-19 is ‘increasing at a concerning rate’ across all age groups.
However, it is highest in those aged five to 12.
‘A combination of higher levels of social contact, a move to socialisation indoors and a collective relaxing of basic public health behaviours combined has led to this surge of infection,’ he said and he encouraged people to follow basic public health advice. Meanwhile, visiting at Bantry General Hospital continues to be restricted because of a high volume of Covid-19 admissions.