Wear a mask when visiting GP surgeries, hospitals: urges Derry doctor

A Derry GP is reminding people that they still have to wear a mask when visiting medical practices and hospitals.

It's important to continue wearing a mask in certain environments.
It's important to continue wearing a mask in certain environments.

Dr Paul Molloy says that, despite the easing of Covid restrictions, the disease hasn’t gone away.

He told the ‘Journal’: “Each day, there are people who attend the practice/hospital who have weak immune systems for one reason or another. We also have staff working in the practice who are immunocompromised. We have had people refuse to come in because they had to wear a mask.”

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He added: “While there may have been news that wearing masks is no longer a rule but guidance, it is very much still needed if you are going to a GP surgery or hospital.

“Every day, people attend our surgery who have cancer, COPD, heart disease, etc., Many of them are on medications that reduce their immunity. Many people have reduced immunity because of the very illness they have, like leukaemia or lymphoma.

“Covid has not suddenly disappeared and it won’t. It’ll be there in the background like flu and the myriad of other viral illnesses waiting to spread. It will spread the same way even though restrictions are reduced. It doesn’t really follow the restrictions. People who are old and have other illnesses are still at greater risk and some will still die of Covid if they catch it. That’s why they don’t want to catch it. That’s why you continue to wear a mask in GP practices and hospital.

“I’m not a fan of wearing a mask. It steams up my glasses and I find it hard to talk, but I’ll do what I’m asked. If I visited someone’s house and they asked me to take off my shoes, I would. That’s called manners and respecting others. You might not like it, you might think it’s stupid but, if someone asks you to wear a mask or you are expected to wear it somewhere, respect others.

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“If you refuse to comply, that’s up to you - you are more than entitled to your opinion. You just might not be able to enter that premises,” added Dr Molloy.