New arrangements have been made for people who are not registered with a GP, but who may have concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) have announced that GPs will facilitate those people who are not normally registered with a practice.
General practice is the first point of contact for patients with symptoms and practices nationwide have been dealing with a large volume of calls from patients.
"We continue to ask people to be patient. In most cases, you will be asked for your details and will then receive a call back, please do not make multiple calls to the practice.
"There is no charge for COVID- 19 triage, but you will need to provide details to your GP including your name, address, date of birth, symptoms, underlying health conditions and PPSN, so please have all relevant details to hand before making the call," the ICGP and IMO said.
Anyone with symptoms should immediately self-isolate, staying at home and separate from other household members.
"GPs, like all frontline healthcare workers, are dedicated and committed to the national efforts in relation to COVID19. We are grateful for the public's co- operation at this time, and we ask that they continue to be supportive and patient in the weeks ahead," the organisations added.
COVID-19 is spread through close contact with an infected person's body fluids (e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on.
It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of the virus to show. These may include a cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and fever (high temperature).
COVID-19 can also cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia and severe breathing difficulties. Some 80% of cases will be mild to moderate, 14% will be more severe, while 6% will be critical.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, people should:
-Practice social distancing and avoid crowded places
-Wash their hands properly and often
-Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, or cough and sneeze into their elbow
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
-Stay at home if they are sick to avoid spread of whatever infection they have.
For more information on COVID-19, click here.
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