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25 residents in Co Galway care home test positive for Covid-19, Dáil hears

Up to 25 residents in a nursing home in Co Galway have tested positive for Covid-19
Cate McCurry, Press Association

Up to 25 residents in a nursing home in Co Galway have tested positive for Covid-19.

The Dáil was told today that one of the residents at the unnamed nursing home has since died.

It is understood that a number of the other residents have been admitted to hospital for treatment.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice told the Dáil that one staff member was left to care for dozens of residents with the help of only one care assistant.

"A nursing home in my constituency which has 27 residents; 25 have tested positive; unfortunately one of the residents has died," Mr Fitzmaurice said.

"Eight nursing staff - seven have tested positive. 11 care assistants - 10 of them have tested positive."

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty said that staff "begged" the HSE for help.

"We were told never again would residents in our nursing homes be abandoned like they were earlier this year," he said.

"They have been begging in desperation for the last two days, they have not received the help.

"Unfortunately one of those residents has passed away. Others have been transported to hospital.

"You may not know the individual details of this case, but I am asking you ... what systems are in place when an outbreak like this infects a huge amount of people in a nursing home? Where they are pleading for help from the HSE for the past two days?

"Where they only have one nurse and one care assistant to look after all of those residents and two other ancillary staff to prepare and serve food?

"What is going to be done and how are we going to ensure these residents, who are in desperation, they need care from the state and the state is abandoning them at their hour of need."

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: "I don't have any information about the particular nursing home but I will look into it and contact the HSE personally and see what can be done."

Aontú leader Peadar Toibin said that staff received no help for 72 hours, branding it "an absolute scandal".

He said: "The most important element always should have been the protection of those nursing homes.

"Men and women in nursing homes are by far the most vulnerable to this illness and by far the most exposed."

The HSE has been contacted for comment.

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