Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says swift and decisive action is required in the interest of the entire country in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak.
He said: “It is imperative that everyone follows the advice on tackling this virus. We have to adhere to social/physical distancing guidelines, wash our hands regularly and minimise our contact with elderly or vulnerable people who may have underlying health issues.
“Elderly and vulnerable people need to be particularly careful and should take the necessary steps to self-isolate during these uncertain times.
“People must restrict their movements; this is not a holiday. All non-essential travel must be restricted. People who have chosen to congregate in parks and such over the last few days need to reconsider their actions moving forward.
“It is sickening to see people not adhering to the advice regarding social/physical distancing and if this continues, then more stringent measures will have to be implemented”.
Continuing, Deputy Fitzmaurice added: “I want to commend the frontline staff who are doing their utmost to diagnose and treat people with the virus. The doctors, nurses, student nurses and doctors, admin staff, caterers and cleaners in all of our hospitals and medical facilities are heroes.
“Other people can also play a significant role in combatting the spread of this virus – by acting responsibly. Everyone, both young and old, needs to recognise the impact their actions might have on both their own personal health – but also on the health of their loved ones”.
He called on the Government to be more proactive. “It is my opinion that we need to take proactive steps to eliminate the threat by reducing non-essential services as much as possible. Each sector needs to be evaluated and any non-essential operations must be halted temporarily.
“We also need to limit the need for people to congregate in the country in order to reduce the likelihood of community transmission. This could be implemented for a period of two weeks and would be reviewed thereafter.
“Obviously, access to medical services such as hospitals, GP clinics, nursing homes, chemists and primary care centres, etc. would still be available. Factories involved in the production of essential medical equipment, including ventilators, must remain in operation”.
Concluding, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “This is a team effort and it is heartening to see communities pulling together right around this country, from the smallest village to the largest cities. This must continue moving forward and with this spirit, we will overcome this outbreak as quickly as we can.
“It is imperative that elderly people who made their contributions to society, are protected. Us, as the younger generation, must show responsibility. Many washed hands will mean lighter work”.