Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has cautioned that we have reached a critical juncture in the fight against Covid-19 with the public’s sacrifices being undermined by an ill-prepared government scrambling to put in place half-measures.
He added that the Minister for Health has failed to go the full distance on mandatory quarantine, and failed to back up the vaccine rollout with investment in test and trace and public health departments.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The government is ill-prepared to deal with this critical juncture in the fight against Covid-19.
“Half-measures are undermining the public’s sacrifices. Government committed to mandatory quarantine 10 weeks ago.
“Legislation was put in place two weeks ago and they are still scrambling. Truth be known, it is 10 months late.
“This is leaving us exposed as cases plateau and variants emerge across Europe. There is a real threat of another wave.
“We need to be prepared but the evidence shows a lack of urgency in Government.
“The Minister is not across our defences, and has failed to implement mandatory quarantine rapidly.
“The plan does not go far enough and isn’t even being implemented.
“He has failed to back up the vaccine rollout with a proactive and retrospective testing and tracing system.
“This is the same for public health departments, which are understaffed and under-resourced.
“The Minister is being reactive and far too casual about ensuring our defences are in place. He is falling down on many areas.
“The government is also failing on all-island cooperation. The Minister has not engaged with his counterpart in the North in good faith, and we have not shared data on testing, tracing, and inbound travellers.
“This is a gaping hole in our defences and Minister Donnelly has not stepped up to the mark.”