At last month’s Carlow MD Meeting People Before Profit cllr Adrienne Wallace brought forward a motion that called on the government to introduce a zero Covid strategy that aims to avoid lockdowns by investing in healthcare and the testing and tracing infrastructure and increased protections for workers. The motion was voted down by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors despite cllr Wallace claiming The Zero Covid Strategy would keep us safer.
Speaking on the matter cllr Wallace said “Although a vaccine is beginning to be rolled out, we have a way to go before we can fully leave Covid behind us. The motion called on the council to write to the Taoiseach to request he revise the government’s strategy for tackling Covid-19. This cycle of lockdowns and easing restrictions is damaging to society and people’s wellbeing. The motion also called on the Taoiseach to instead enact a Zero Covid Strategy like what has been successfully implemented in New Zealand and Vietnam.”
“This would require more investment in contact tracing, covid testing, in the health system and in economic protections for workers. These are all moves that would benefit people in the long run and during this pandemic but unfortunately the right-wing parties abhor public investment. They would rather hand huge amounts of public money to temporarily lease private hospitals than create an efficient single tier health system.”
Cllr Wallace added “Locally Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael also served a further blow to workers. The motion also called on the government to recognise Covid-19 as a notifiable disease. A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities. This would ensure workers safety as workplaces begin to re-open but it was also shot down. Workers are really getting the sharp end of the stick here; essential workers are already the lowest paid in society and now the government is actively ignoring calls to guarantee their safety as they keep society running.”