Clare T.D. Michael McNamara has called on the health authorities in Ireland to set out a detailed Medical Recovery Plan on how coronavirus restrictions may be lifted in stages considering the news that the rate of transmission has slowed.
Deputy McNamara commented, “We were told by Health Minister Simon Harris earlier this month that some restrictions could be loosened once the reproduction rate of the Virus – the R0 – falls below one. Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan this week confirmed that we have now reached this point, and we also learned that Covid-19-related deaths peaked 10 days ago, but it does not appear likely that there will be any easing of the measures introduced in March.”
The Independent T.D. continued, “Health policymakers urgently need to start putting in place a medical recovery plan that will enable the general movement of people to resume in stages with the necessary range of supports and resources for our health system to continue to fight the virus, especially comprehensive testing and contract tracing, both of which are far behind initial government predictions.
“Best practice around the world shows that medical recovery plans should be developed in tandem with an emergency plan, but we are long past that. While the health authorities in Ireland have been forthcoming on their response to the crisis, I am concerned that little has been done by way of planning Ireland’s medical response in the medium term. Despite the Minister for Finance’s assertions this week, we cannot begin to plan an economic recovery until that medical recovery plan is in place.
“I accept that we need to maintain a lockdown situation if it is medically necessary. However, every day that the current situation continues after it is no longer necessary will result in even more economic pain for the ordinary people of this State, who have already borne enough,” concluded Deputy McNamara.