Robin Swann again led the Executives COVID-19 update today, warning of a ‘difficult winter’ ahead as further clusters and out breaks are ‘inevitable’.
Starting by expressing his sympathy to the family of the latest individual who died as a result of COVID-19 in the last 24-hours, Minister Swann describes the last 6 months as a ‘nightmare’ that continues to go on and on, BUT reminded the public that ‘it will end’.
The Minister also paid tribute to the sacrifices and difficulties that NHS staff have and continue to face.
Today saw the release of statistics relating to waiting times and the Minister expressed his concern as it was a priority of Mr Swann when he took up the position of Health Minister, as well as being part of the New Day New Approach, to improve waiting times and lists.
“A lot of hard work is ongoing on the re-building of services. Last month, I announced important Initiatives on Day Surgery and Orthopaedics. Proposals are also being finalised for other key priority areas including cancer services and urgent and emergency care.” Said the Minister earlier today following the release of waiting times.
Therefore Mr Swann says he has in consultation, approached the various Trusts in Northern Ireland and asked them to continue as much activity as possible.
Revealing that the R rate is likely around 1.3, He warned against COVID fatigue and that it still remains the ‘biggest public health’ risk of a generation.