NPHET should be more transparent and release specific and detailed breakdown on clusters" - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has today written to the National Public Health Emergency Team asking them to release more specific details on clusters of Covid_19 at their daily press briefings. Deputy Tóibín said:
"We, as parliamentarians, cannot make informed decisions about restrictions and lockdowns without all the facts and statistics on the table. We cannot answer our constituents' concerns unless we have access to detailed information. For this reason, as leader of Aontú, I have today written to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan asking that NPHET ensure that going forward their daily briefings and statements contain more detail than they currently do".
Deputy Tóibín continued: "The practice over the Summer months was to reveal the number of cases/clusters associated with different groups and give detail as to the ages of those who have contracted the virus and those who have consequently died. The information being published these days is much more watery and ambiguous. We need to know how many clusters are currently associated with meat factories, with direct provision centres, with churches, with nursing homes and schools. It is important also that we determine if any particular group is in particular distress - how many cases are associated with homeless accommodation? How many are associated with the roma or travelling community?"
"If NPHET were capable of providing such breakdowns previously then I see no reason why they cannot provide such detail now. I have asked the Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly for a detailed breakdown in relation to nursing homes and shockingly he has deferred the question to the HSE, it seems obvious to me that he doesn't know the answer to these basic questions. NPHET should brief TDs, we in opposition need to be kept in the loop, and we cannot continue in a system of texting our questions to journalists at press conferences in order to get answers for our constituents", concluded Deputy Tóibín.