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Cllr says Covid messaging has been ‘diabolical’

March 12th, 2021 11:50 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

‘We now need strong leadership and follow the footsteps of Austria, Vietnam and New Zealand,’ said Cllr Collins.

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A WEST Cork councillor has called on the Taoiseach to stop giving out ‘wishy washy’ statements to the public, which he says are causing a lot of anxiety.

Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) made the comment at an online meeting of the local authority recently, while calling for the government to implement a mandatory quarantine for everyone coming into Ireland.

Cllr Collins described government communications as ‘diabolical.’

‘Last May, NPHET requested that mandatory hotel quarantine be rolled out and nine months later this still hasn’t happened,’ said Cllr Collins.

‘I know the government is rolling out quarantine for people arriving from Brazil and Africa, but who is to say that people who fly in from anywhere in Europe or England haven’t had connecting flights from Brazil or Africa? We now need strong leadership and follow the footsteps of Austria, Vietnam and New Zealand.’

Cllr Collins also highlighted the fact that 5,500 people entered the State from countries deemed ‘high risk’ on a 28-day period earlier this year, with 2,000 of those coming from Brazil, which he said ‘has to stop’.

Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind) implored the government to introduce mandatory quarantine and said it’s a matter of life and death.

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said it is long overdue and said ‘some dreadful mistakes’ were made over the past year, including allowing people to travel to Cheltenham.

Meanwhile, Green Party councillor Liam Quaide also had a motion calling for the government to devise a Covid elimination strategy that draws on international examples, like New Zealand.

‘Calls from a large number of public health experts to move to an elimination or ‘zero Covid’ strategy have been met with an attitude of defeatism and obstinate resistance on the part of our government,’ said Cllr Quaide.

‘It’s time our government heeded the ethical and scientific imperative of pursuing a Covid elimination strategy. In doing so many lives would be saved and much damage to our society and economy mitigated.’

Cllr Quaid called for leadership in this crisis, ‘not defeatism and half-measures’ and said that government Covid policy since last summer has been characterised by an ‘a la carte’ approach to  NPHET advice and a series of panicked reactions to public pressure.

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