The water crisis in Ireland is now a public health emergency
Posted On July 20, 2021
The water situation in Ireland has become a public safety emergency, the health department has said.
The Irish Water Agency (IWA) said on Monday that it had received a total of 7,938 reports of cases of the coronavirus and coronaviruses since the outbreak began on December 10.
The total number of cases so far in Ireland, which has the world’s second-largest population after Germany, is around 2.4 million.
The agency said in a statement that it would begin a public awareness campaign on Monday, focusing on the importance of keeping children hydrated, avoiding drinking hot water, and avoiding contact with the water supply.IWA spokesman Michael Fitzgerald said the agency was aware of the emergency and was responding as quickly as possible.
“Our primary focus is on ensuring that water supply and sanitation systems are in place and ensuring the public health response is adequate,” he said.
Irish Water was given a three-year extension by the government on March 6 to complete the construction of a new water treatment plant.
The company said it would install two of the new water-treatment units by the end of March, although the Irish Water board has not yet said how many of the units will be installed.
The latest figures from the Irish Health Service (IHS) show the number of people tested for the virus has doubled in the past week.
IHS chief executive Dr Peter McCartan said there was no evidence of a resurgence of the virus in the country, and there was an increasing risk of the disease spreading.
“The latest data shows that there has been a significant increase in people having to be tested, which is of particular concern,” he told the Irish Independent.
“In the last two days, there has also been an increase in the number reported cases of coronavirene, a very serious illness which can lead to serious complications in the body, including a life-threatening condition.”
In the past two weeks, Irish Water has reported more than 40,000 cases of waterborne coronavillosis.
It said that at the start of the pandemic, it had treated nearly 100,000 people, of which more than 3,000 had recovered from their illness.
IWA said the water treatment plants would be able to meet demand for the next three years.
The water crisis is likely to deepen this week as authorities attempt to assess how much contaminated water will be stored, which could affect demand for supplies.
In the case of Ireland, there is a risk that the virus will reach the island of Ireland.
In recent weeks, authorities have been looking at the possibility of bringing the virus to other European countries.
In a statement on Monday night, the Irish government said it was continuing to monitor the situation.
“In accordance with the new recommendations, the Health Minister has instructed the Irish Agency for Water, Water Supply and Sanitation to commence an intensive public awareness programme across the country,” the statement said.
“The Government will continue to work with the Irish Government and its Water and Water Services Agency to implement the recommended measures.”