Limerick doctor’s Covid warning over St Patrick’s holiday 

Dr Catherine Motherway

THE doctor in charge of the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has warned that increased social activity around the St Patrick’s Day holiday period will lead to a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Dr Catherine Motherway was speaking as the number of people with Covid-19 in hospital increased to 1,042, the highest number since January 12.

She said was a “a little concerned” about the slowly rising cases, but said there was no doubt that with the high level of vaccination and immunity among people, the effect on people’s health “isn’t as dramatic as it was at the very beginning”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s ‘Today with Claire Byrne’, Dr Motherway also said she does not believe mask wearing should be made mandatory again.

She said people who are at increased risk, such as those who are immunocompromised or those in older age groups, should “absolutely wear masks”.

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“If you feel that you are risk, and are worried, continue to wear a mask,” she added.

Dr Motherway that like flu, which remains a problem for all populations, she expected that Covid is never going to completely go away.

“As we get more used to it as a population, it will have less severe public health impacts, but it can still be quite serious for individuals,” she added.