Ireland

Fears for cancer patients as hospital hit by criminal hackers now flooded 

A major hospital hit by the recent cyber attack has now been flooded.

he flooding is affecting its radiotherapy services for cancer patients, the HSE revealed yesterday.

Galway University Hospital is currently operating at only 50pc of its radiotherapy capacity.

Cork University Hospital’s radiotherapy machines are also only at half the level of service they were before the hack.

Meanwhile, emergency dep- artments are seeing a surge in attendances, partly because GPs whose access to diagnostics has been hit by the cyber attack are sending patients there in the hope of them securing an investigation.

The continuing effects of the hack emerged at the HSE’s weekly briefing yesterday, casting a cloud over the decrease in Covid-19 patients who need to be in a ward or intensive care.

St James’s Hospital in Dublin had no Covid-19 patients yesterday.

Seventy-seven people with the virus were in wards across the country, including 27 in intensive care.

The virus is being “pushed” into unvaccinated groups here, with 64pc of cases in the past two weeks in the under-35s, the HSE said.

The 14-day incidence has remained stable at 115 per 100,000, although daily cases will increase today after a weekend lag.

The highest 14-day incidence is in Limerick at 411 per 100,000, followed by Donegal at 153.8 per 100,000 and Dublin at 150.1.

In Limerick, indoor gatherings and people visiting each other’s homes have contributed to the worrying spread, with cases emerging in extended families and different households.

HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said that as a result of vaccination, only 1.8pc of cases in the past two weeks were in the 65-plus age
group.

There was only one outbreak in a nursing home last week, with two cases.

Eight outbreaks last week were travel-related, with 29 cases.

More than two million people have now received a first dose of a vaccine and more than 688,000 are fully vaccinated.

These exclude GP vaccinations from May 14.

The proportion of people fully vaccinated in their 60s, most of whom are waiting for a second dose of AstraZeneca, is still at 10pc.

This compares with 12pc of people in their 50s, while 10pc of the 40-49 year age group are also fully vaccinated.

The plan is to vaccinate 250,000 to 270,000 people this week. Next week it will be 270,000 to 290,000.

It is hoped that the second half of this month will see an improvement in supplies of Pfizer and AstraZeneca
vaccine deliveries.

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