Many people who suspected that they had contracted Covid-19 tried in vain over the weekend to make contact with the HSE Helpline for the virus. While many knew they should not present at Emergency Departments of hospitals they felt there was no option but to do so.
Frustrated, concerned and feeling unwell a number of such patients with a family member / friend arrived to Mayo University Hospital yesterday. On arrival the patients suspected of having the virus were handed masks to wear as they took their seats in the general waiting room. A waiting room, already busy with patients presenting with injured limbs and a range of other medical issues.
Even when mask-wearing patients were called through to be examined/ treated, the person that had accompanied them in to the hospital remained in the general waiting room. In many cases these family members / friends had linked the sick patient into the hospital and sat closely beside them until they were called through for medical attention.
How the spread of Covid -19 can be avoided if hospitals are not separating Covid -19 suspected patients and their family members / friends from the rest of the patients waiting in the Emergency Departments of hospitals is unclear.
In response to a query from Midwest News to the HSE on the matter, a spokesperson says that from this morning (Monday) GPs will have access to a new electronic process to order tests for Covid-19.