Video: Irish citizens in Afghanistan, INMO calls for healthcare worker bonus

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Taoiseach 'deeply concerned' at Afghanistan situation

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he is “deeply concerned by the unfolding situation in Afghanistan".

On Sunday, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled the country as Taliban forces entered the capital, Kabul virtually unopposed causing citizens to flood to the city's airport attempting to escape the country.

According to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on Monday morning, 15 Irish nationals are looking to leave Afghanistan. All commercial flights into and out of Kabul airport have been halted, so efforts are now being made to coordinate with other EU countries, the US and the UK to try and evacuate the Irish nationals, Simon Coveney said.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Mr Martin said the "pace of developments" in Afghanistan has "taken many by surprise".

“I fully endorse the call from UN secretary general António Guterres from the Taliban to exercise the utmost restraint," the Taoiseach said.

INMO calls for healthcare worker bonus

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The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) are calling on the Government to deliver on its promise to give bonuses to healthcare workers, in recognition of their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In early July, the Government was reportedly "actively considering" the move and later that month, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly added all HSE staff, including those working in administrative roles, should receive a bonus for their work during Covid.

As reported by The Irish Times, among the options being considered for the bonus is an extra payment, non-taxable vouchers or additional leave.

However, the INMO has criticised the Government for not yet delivering on that promise, while healthcare workers in the North received a €570 bonus last month.

Speaking to Newstalk, Dave Hughes from the INMO said healthcare workers have delivered care under challenging circumstances throughout the pandemic, which should be recognised.

Long Covid research looks at blood clotting in patients

New evidence shows that patients with long Covid continue to have higher measures of blood clotting, which may explain persistent symptoms, including reduced physical fitness and fatigue.

The study, led by researchers from RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) University of Medicine and Health Sciences, is published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Previous work by the same group studied the dangerous clotting observed in patients with severe acute Covid-19.

However, far less is known about long Covid syndrome, where symptoms can last weeks to months after the initial infection has resolved and is estimated to affect millions of people worldwide.

Covid outbreaks in Mid-West

Health officials have warned about outbreaks of Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West, saying they are experiencing the highest increases since February.

The HSE warned that the outbreaks are showing a trend of widespread community transmission, with multi-setting outbreaks becoming “more frequent”.

Officials in the Mid-West, which includes Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary, said there are a rising number of cases in long-term care facilities, workplaces, social settings and a small number of sports teams.

Issuing a public health alert, they said: “We are recording 998 Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West region over the past 14 days, more than a third of which were recorded since Friday.

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