The Northern Ireland health minister has confirmed there are 20 care homes across the province, where residents have tested positive for coronavirus.
Speaking yesterday at the daily Stormont press office, Robin Swann, the cases at the care homes are being managed by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and Public Health Agency (PHA).
‘If anybody needs to be moved from a care home to hospital or into ICU that has been done, there’s no delay.
‘A resident of a care home is a member of our society, so they won’t be treated any different, nor should they be.’
Yesterday, Social Care Today reported that Portsmouth City Council had confirmed four people have died in the same local care home after showing symptoms of coronavirus.
Mr Swann added that PPE and ventilators are at the top of the Northern Ireland’s executives’s agenda.
‘There is not a country in the world that knows with any certainty what path this virus will take, but am I confident that our staff have access to the right PPE? Yes I am,’ said Mr Swann.
‘I appreciate some staff are understandably concerned about what lies ahead,’ he added. ‘I want to reassure them, as health minister, I will not allow or tolerate our health workers being put in danger as a result of inadequate PPE. The wellbeing of our staff and patients is my utmost priority. We do have sufficient PPE for the current demand. I and my staff are working hard to secure more supplies for future demand or second surge later in the year.
‘Yesterday, I was delighted to see a packed warehouse with the first of the five and a half million items of PPE and there will be more to follow. We must never become complacent. I would much rather prefer to come out the other side of this pandemic with far too much PPE remaining in stock, than not enough.’
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