CMO to consider reducing isolation period for positive tests

The Chief Medical Officer is to consider reducing the isolation period for people who test positive for Covid.

The decision was made by the cabinet health committee last night – after ministers were briefed by Dr Tony Holohan.

He’ll now review the seven-day period and make a recommendation to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

Executive editor of the Irish Daily Mail, John Lee, says a return of mandatory mask-wearing was also ruled out last night.

“Despite pressure from all sides to bring back moderate restrictions, particularly the health sector, that was not bowed to.

“In fact, it appeared to go the other way, discussing loosening some of the remaining restrictions, notably the ongoing isolation period for those suffering with Covid-19.

“Tony Holohan was pretty much sent off to review that 7 day period, and come back with a shorter period.”

It comes despite a worsening situation in the country’s hospitals.

There were 1,535 Covid patients in hospital yesterday – over 900 more than at the start of the month.

And last month was the worst March for overcrowding since records began – with over 11,000 without a bed.

Consultant in emergency medicine, Dr Mick Molloy, says there’s a crisis in A&Es. 

“We’re in a very perilous situation where ambulances now are unable to offload their patients, and are having to wait for extended periods outside their hospitals.

“Other patients newly arriving to the emergency departments are experiencing extended waits, because there is physically no space to examine them, no space to put them in, and it’s leading to a lot of fractious situations right now.”


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