• The importance of self-isolating as soon as you suspect you might have Covid-19 symptoms, has been highlighted today by the Cathaoirleach of Ballina Municipal District, councillor Michael Loftus.

    The Fianna Fail councillor contracted Covid-19 last month but says he has now recovered from it.

    He had returned early, from cancelled St Patrick’s Days celebrations in the US, when he noticed he had symptoms.

    He immediately self-isolated, under the guidance of his GP wife, and sought a test for the virus. It took a number of days to secure the test and by the time he had the positive result, ten days later, he had already recovered from the virus.

    Cathaoirleach Loftus says he is very lucky that he was one of the eighty percent of the population that recovers from the virus without becoming particularly ill.

    But he stresses the importance of not passing the virus on to others, and is urging people if they feel unwell to self isolate as quickly as possible.

    He has been speaking about his experience to Midwest News today.



    Other countries are finding ways to ensure that nursing home residents will be able to enjoy a safe visit from a loved one this Christmas and Mayo deputy Rose Conway Walsh is calling on the Irish government to follow their lead.

    The HSE is to issue updated guidelines on nursing home restrictions later this week.

    Deputy Conway Walsh says that in England and Wales different initiatives are underway. The Welsh Government announced £3m for care homes to install temporary "pods" for Christmas visits.

    There will also be a pilot scheme to give care home visitors 20-minute Covid-19 tests starting next week.

    Speaking to Midwest News deputy Conway Walsh says Christmas can be a lonely time for many people, not least those isolated in nursing homes, and a safe way to allow visits now needs to be made a priority here.

    The deputy spoke to Midwest News about some of the initiatives underway overseas.