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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Covid 19 and New Measures

The governments reaction to Omnicron makes a mockery of the idea of living with Covid. Slapping restriction in to place based on zero data. The papers reporting on it swung in to overdrive and common sense and critical thinking doesn't seem to be have made it's way in to the decisions made by the government. Covid certs have been required for indoor dining for since their inception. The additional restrictions for this setting, the return of table service in bars and the maximum of 6 per table, no multi table bookings, then that means the covid cert is not preventing the spread of covid in these settings. So what does the government do with them ... expand them to gyms and leisure centres because we have developed the system and we might as well us it. Does it work? We don't know became we don't have any data... on any covid measure that the government has implemented. It's goodbye to nightclubs and 50% capacity for events making it economically unfeasible for any artist to perform. Is the government implementing blanket restrictions on the governments worst fears? The restrictions are based on worst fears and of course NPHET's worst fears have never been realised. These predictions have also been the one getting the most media attention and many times we did better than their most optimistic predictions. Dr Angelique Coetzee first identified the new Omnicron variant in South Africa said the Omicron is fast spreading, but the current clinical picture at primary health care facilities of mild disease predominantly, few hospital admissions so why has there been such hype about this variant? The government, NPHET and media still decided to lose their heads. I hope Ministers Mc Grath words are true and that the restrictions will be lifted when we have a better depiction of profile of Omnicron. Dr Anthony Fauci has said the signs of Omnicron are encouraging and that it may not be as bad as initially feared. A report from the South African Medical Council released on Saturday suggest that the strain could cause a milder infection. The main observation in the report was that most patients were not oxygen dependant & others covid incidental cases in hospital. I wish that the same businesses who have suffered throughout this pandemic were not thrown back in to restrictions and that they are given the full supports they need or better than they were not impacted at all and could just get on with running their business. Lastly the PUP has been a lifeline for so many people but it has also discouraged some from returning to work and I ask the Tanaiste to look at ways to address this. These restrictions are in no way living with covid. When is the end? Covid is not going away and even if we vaccinate 100% of the people in this country we still have Covid. What is the solution? Where is the plan?

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