Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has said it is essential that a common sense approach is adopted to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
Michelle O’Neill said:
“Britain continues to be an outlier when it comes to tackling coronavirus. They are out of step with the rest of the world.
“The clear and unambiguous advice from the World Health Organisation today is that the best way to stop COVID-19 spreading is by testing and isolation.
“This, along with the British government’s announcement that ‘drastic action’ is needed, highlights the need for decisive action here.
“Expert clinicians from across Britain and elsewhere have added their voices to the calls for schools to be closed and mass gatherings to be halted.
“I once again repeat the call for schools to close to help contain the spread of the virus and to keep people safe.
“This is not merely a matter of timing; it is a matter of acting in a coordinated, responsible and rapid manner in order to save lives.
“It simply does not make sense to call for ‘drastic action’ and limit contact with others on one hand and then refusing to close schools.
“A number of schools are already taking practical and responsible steps to prepare for the orderly closure of schools later this week. Churches, sports organisations and businesses are also showing leadership on this issue.
“We live on a small island and it is vital we adopt an all-island approach immediately to tackling the COVID-19 coronavirus in order to keep the public safe.
“There is a responsibility on all political leaders north and south to do everything possible to protect the health and lives of everyone on this island.
“The Executive needs to show clear and unambiguous leadership for the community and Sinn Féin will continue to work for a sensible and responsible approach in order to protect lives.”