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Up to 70 doctors and nurses in Cavan hospital have coronavirus

Up to 70 medical staff in Cavan General Hospital have been infected with the coronavirus

Up to 70 doctors and nurses in Cavan General Hospital have the coronvirus and dozens more are in isolation.

Emergency medical teams have been sent to the hospital to make sure it is properly staffed.

More than half of the hospital's senior medical staff and almost half of the surgical team are infected or in isolation.

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In a statement, the RCSI Hospitals group refused to confirm the number of doctors and nurses who have become infected, but said its staff absenteeism rate has increased by almost 7% since January.

The statement read: "Cavan General Hospital has plans in place to manage additional demands due to Covid-19. The Hospital has areas designated for care of patients with Covid-19, patients who are awaiting diagnosis and patients who are not. There is capacity available for all of these patients."

"In January 2020, prior to Covid-19, the absenteeism rate was 5.6%, presently it is 12.2%. The hospital continues to have a number of staff off at present."

The latest figures show Cavan General is the hospital outside Dublin with the most Covid-19 cases with 33.

Laura Durcan, vice president of the Irish Hospital Consultants' Association, said some of its medics have been sent to the hospital.

Ms Durcan, who is based in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, told RTE Radio 1's Sean O'Rourke show that medics are keen the hospital is properly staffed over Easter weekend.

"What we have been doing from our group is sending staff to Cavan to make sure that they can be safely staffed over the upcoming number of days," she said.

"Some of our SHOs (senior house officers) and Registrars have very heroically stepped up and will be heading up to Cavan I believe today."

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