Ireland remains an Outlier in Terms of Length and Severity of Lockdown – Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín questioned Deputy CMO Dr Ronan Flynn at the Oireachtas Health Committee today. He asked;
“Today is Ireland’s 198 day of work place closure. This is far longer and far more severe than any other EU country. Now I understand that the characteristics of Ireland’s health service, population etc are different than other EU countries but the policy that has been chosen by Nphet and the government has been a radical outlier in international terms. The WHO says lockdowns should not be main coronavirus defence. But so far this year, this is the case. Yet in terms of mortality and morbidity other countries which imposed a fraction of our Lockdowns have similar levels of mortality and morbidity. What comparative analysis have you undertaken in relation to other EU countries”?
“Dr Glynn quoted a comparative analysis report that the was produced but countered that Ireland was not an outlier. However, with respect, independent analysis such as that from Reuters has shown that not to be the case. The reason why Ireland has locked down longer is in part because of massive weaknesses in the health services, protections at Nursing Homes, airports, the lack of all Ireland cooperation. Yet there has been very little work done in strengthening much of this and what the government has worked upon they have been dragged kicking and screaming to do it”.
“2 minutes was all that was afforded in total to non Health Committee TDs to ask questions today of Nphet. This is precious little time for elected reps to ask questions of the leadership of a group that is making such incredibly far reaching decisions for each decision. That committees are operating in the main remotely and yet can only function for 2 hours is wrong. This work is of such importance Committee meetings should be run fully remotely and longer”.
“Cancer Services, heart disease, stroke and mental health services have been restricted significantly over the last year. Its been reported that because of the restrictions on other healthcare there will be many more advanced cancers, that there will be increased morbidity and that there will be increased deaths. I was prevented in asking Nphet “what risk analysis has been undertaken in terms of the effect these closures have had on mortality and morbidity. Its shocking to me that none of the establishment parties who are members of this committee sought to ask this question”.
“Confusion over AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson is seriously eroding confidence of the people. In February the HSE stated that AstraZeneca is not for older people. In March they told Student Nurses they must take the AstraZeneca Vaccine or lose their placement and career. Yet in April the HSE told Student Nurses, that they cannot take AstraZeneca Vaccine as it may not be safe for younger people. Its clear that Government Vaccine Rollout plan is yet again in confusion. This will have radical implications for the opening up of society. We believe that the opening up of safe elements of society and the economy soon must be part of the government’s plan