Recently due to new variants like the delta variant, more and more cases of Covid-19 have been sprouting up all over the world. One place that has been greatly affected by these new variants is Northern Ireland, where Covid cases have surged the past month. There are often hundreds of new Covid cases in Northern Ireland. This is alarming because before this, there were less than five new cases per day in Northern Iceland. Especially since Iceland’s population is so small compared to other countries in the UK, it is surprising to see so many new cases. This sudden surge of cases had led to a lot of stress build up for Northern Ireland healthcare workers who were already under so much pressure.
The delta variant seems to be the biggest factor of this increase in cases, as it accounted for 90% of all recent cases. Another major factor that contributes to this high recent covid rate is the fact that Northern Ireland has a low vaccination rate. Compared to other countries, Northern Ireland does not have as many vaccinated citizens. The delta variant feeds on unvaccinated people and Northern Ireland is evidence of that. It is also said that there are loose Covid restrictions in Northern Ireland, thus many citizens are not social distancing as much as they should be. This is maybe why most cases are from people ages 40 and younger.
According to nursingtimes.net, the crazy new patients in the hospitals has caused hospital beds to overflow. This means that there are not enough resources for all patients in Northern Ireland hospitals. The Northern Ireland minister has called for more help to the hospitals, but due to the surge of Covid cases elsewhere, no one has come to help Northern Ireland yet. Nurses are being asked to work longer shifts, causing to lots of exhaustion and stress. Of course another problem that has surfaced is that the hospital cannot help other patients who do not have Covid. Many appointments have been either delayed or cancelled because of the overpopulated hospital. The cuts made to the nursing staff a couple months before did not help this nursing shortage situation.
All in all, these insane amount of covid cases in Northern Ireland has impacted everyone from regular citizens to healthcare workers. The workload for nurses in hospitals has increased by crazy amounts and there is no signs of this slowing down. If this problems is not handled soon, these covid cases could spread to nearby countries and become even bigger problem than it is now.