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Irish government under fire over COVID-19 deaths in care homes

The Irish government is coming under mounting pressure over the number of deaths in care homes.

Res..

The Irish government is coming under mounting pressure over the number of deaths in care homes.

Residential and community care facilities including nursing homes now account for more than 62 per cent of COVID-19 deaths, according to recent figures released by the Department of Health.


That proportion has risen in recent weeks and is high compared to several other EU countries, where around half of coronavirus deaths are believed to occur in nursing homes.

One nurse, who asked not to be identified, told Euronews that more than half of the care staff at the nursing home where she works are off sick, and they now rely on ad-hoc agency personnel to take their place.

“Theyre moving from different nursing homes and different hospitals throughout the country all over Ireland, so its not just ours,” she said.

“Many of those Ive spoken with havent been tested, and the reason they havent been tested is theyve displayed no symptoms.”

As of Monday evening, 1,467 people had died from COVID-19 in Ireland, and 23,135 have tested positive for the virus, according to new figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

On Friday, Health Minister Simon Harris said progress was being made to fight the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, but that it remained an “area of concern”.

Ireland’s chief medical officer said COVID-19 was likely introduced into Irish nursing homes inadvertently by staff members.

“Some of the earlier epidemiological studies have shown us a key factor in how this has spread in nursing homes has been care staff working across different staff, and not only working across different staff but actually how they live outside of work,” said Dr Sean Kennelly, at Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.

“Some of the staff are from foreign countries and are living together with staff who are working in other nursing homes or working in the acute hospital setting, so there has always been that risk of it spreading from site to site.”

The Irish Health Service has announced a large package of financial assistance and staffing support.

But in the meantime, the situation is taking its toll.

“We regularly cry in work,” said the nurse who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“A common joke in work is that its good that we have our face masks on because most of us are crying underneath them for the majority of the day. And its either grief for residents whove passed, or guilt that you cant spend the time that you want to with the residents with dementia.”

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Italy reopens to tourists from Europe after economically crippling lockdown

Issued on: 03/06/2020 – 09:02Modified: 03/06/2020 – 09:02

Italy reopens to travellers from Europe ..

Issued on: Modified:

Italy reopens to travellers from Europe on Wednesday, three months after the country went into coronavirus lockdown, with all hopes pinned on reviving the key tourism industry as the summer season begins.

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Gondolas are ready to punt along Venice's canals, lovers will be able to act out "Romeo and Juliet" on Verona's famed balcony, and gladiator fans can pose for selfies at Rome's Colosseum.

But there were fears many foreign tourists would be put off coming to a country still shaking off a vicious pandemic.

"Come to Calabria. There's only one risk: that you'll get fat," the southern region's governor Jole Santelli said on Sunday as the race began to lure big spenders — or any spenders — back to Italy's sandy shores.

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus and has officially reported more than 33,000 deaths.

It imposed an economically crippling lockdown in early March and has since seen its contagion numbers drop off dramatically.

With the country facing its deepest recession since World War II, it needs foreigners to return, and quickly.

But it is still reporting dozens of new cases a day, particularly in the northern Lombardy region, and experts warn the government may be being hasty in permitting travel between regions and abroad.

'Like a leper'

International flights were only expected to resume in three main cities: Milan, Rome and Naples.

And there were concerns that those who usually come in by car, train or ferry from neighbouring countries would go elsewhere on their holidays.

Switzerland has warned its citizens that if they go to Italy they will be subject to "health measures" on their return. The country will open its borders with Germany, France and Austria on June 15, but not with Italy.

Austria is lifting restrictions in mid-June with Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary — but again, not Italy, described last week by Vienna's health minister as "still a hotspot".

Other countries, such as Belgium and Britain, are still advising against, or forbidding, all non-essential travel abroad.

In response to perceived anti-Italian sentiment, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has warned countries not to treat Italy "like a leper".

He said Saturday he would be travelling to Germany, Slovenia and Greece to persuade them Italy is safe for foreign tourists.

Arrivals in Italy from Europe will not be required to self-isolate unless they have recently travelled from another continent.

Too expensive

Italy's lockdown has had a particularly devastating effect on the tourism sector, which amounts to some 13 percRead More – Source

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Europe

Covid-19: France records more than 100 new deaths as country’s lockdown eases

Issued on: 02/06/2020 – 21:15Modified: 02/06/2020 – 21:15

France's Covid-19 death toll rose b..

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France's Covid-19 death toll rose by more than 100 for the first time in 13 days on Tuesday, as the country enacts a new easing of lockdown measures.

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The French health ministry said that the number of fatalities had risen by 107, or 0.4 percent, to 28,940, the fifth-highest tally in the world.

It also said the number of Covid-19>Read More – Source

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France denounces Ryanair ‘blackmail’ in employee pay-cut-or-redundancy ultimatum

Issued on: 02/06/2020 – 17:52Modified: 02/06/2020 – 17:52

France on Tuesday denounced as “blackmai..

Issued on: 02/06/2020 – 17:52Modified: 02/06/2020 – 17:52

France on Tuesday denounced as "blackmail" an ultimatum from low-cost carrier Ryanair for its French employees to choose between a five-year pay cut or a number of redundancies in an escalating labour dispute.

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The offer from the Dublin-based no-frills carrier, long accused by critics of abrasive labour tactics, comes as the aviation industry grapples with an unprecedented crisis after the collapse in global demand for air travel due to the coronavirus.

"Blackmail is never an option," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told RTL radio. "Jobs will be protected by imaginative solutions, but definitely not through blackmail," he said.

The aviation industry is facing drastic losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has closed borders across the world and paralysed air transport.

Ryanair has already announced plans to axe 3,000 pilot and cabin crew jobs, or 15 percent of staff across its European network.

In France, Ryanair operates from hubs including the Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux airports.

The Irish company has told French unions to accept plans to cut wages by 20 percent for pilots and 10 percent for stewards and air hostesses from July 2020, or face the redundancy of 23 pilots and 27 cabin crew staff.

Under current plans, staffers who are earning minimum wage would see their work time cut by 20 percent. Employees would progressively regain their salary up until 2025.

'They're not playing the game'

Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud said she was "shocked" by Ryanair's proposal and said the company must go back to the drawing board and "really talk (with employees), but not blackmail."

Since 2017 companies can open up talks with their employRead More – Source

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