People Before Profit Solidarity call for raft of measures to address Covid surge and protect our health services
People Before Profit Solidarity has called on the government to immediately introduce a raft of measures to deal with rising Covid case numbers and to ease the burden on the public health service.
The group noted that Ireland finds itself back in a situation, where more restrictions are likely, because of the government’s abject failure to implement measures to protect the health service and to live with Covid.
The party called for:
· Private hospital capacity to be taken permanently into public control and for permanent increases in ICU and hospital capacity to bring it at least up to the best international standards.
· Antigen tests to be made freely available, walk in PCR tests and permanent increases in public health and tracing capacity.
· In schools and workplaces- the government to immediately establish minimum ventilation and air filtration standards and provide the resources to achieve this.
· Sick pay scheme for all workers currently unable to access such a plan
· Full restoration of the PUP for those who have been and will be impacted by public health measures.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “Ireland, unfortunately, finds itself potentially on the brink of further restrictions which will have a huge impact on people’s lives, the health service, and workers and small businesses. We are paying the price for the government’s abject failure to implement and plan for the kind of substantive measures to keep the virus numbers down and to protect the health service.
“All throughout this pandemic the government has been at pains to tell everyone that we need to learn to live with Covid, but they have done little to make that possible. What we now need are a raft of measures to address the Covid surge and to protect our health service. We need things like antigen tests to be made freely available for everyone; ventilation in all workplaces and schools; sick pay schemes; PUP restoration; and we need to immediately take back control of private hospital capacity.”
Solidarity TD Mick Barry said: “In a health emergency you need emergency measures not half measures. Antigen testing should be free of charge in Ireland. This is the best move. This is the boldest move. It is the move that the Government should take today.”