Micheál Martin says country will need to be more prepared for a second wave in nursing homes 1 month ago

Micheál Martin says country will need to be more prepared for a second wave in nursing homes

"I don't believe it was adequately prepared."

Micheál Martin has said that the country will need to be more prepared to deal with Covid-19 in nursing homes, in the event of a second wave.

In the Dáil on Tuesday, Martin faced his first official questions as Taoiseach, where Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy asked whether nursing homes were prepared well for a potential second wave.

Martin responded by saying that he did not believe that we were adequately prepared at the beginning of the virus, and that a lot has been learned since.

He said: "In my view, a lot has been learned since then. The expert panel has been set up by the former minister... I think we've learned enough from the experiences during Covid-19 to actually accept that changes have to take place in and around the governance of the nursing home sector, particularly on the clinical side.

"A stronger clinical oversight will be required."

Martin also informed the Dáil that tests are still ongoing in nursing homes, revealing that the tests found that in one nursing home five people who were asymptomatic came back with a positive test.

Martin said: "That illustrates, even now with the suppression of the virus, the challenges that are clearly still there within the nursing home sector."