Business is turning up the pressure for an end to the lockdown. Big factories in the North such as Bombardier and Caterpillar are opening. So too are some retail outlets in the South.
Yet there are no visits by health and safety inspectors to ensure social distancing.
If social distancing loosens too early there is a serious chance of a second wave of Covid 19. We need a proper well-planned exit strategy that meets the following basic conditions.
- A drastic fall in the infection rate in the community.
- Adequate level of testing.
- Rapid follow through with contact tracing.
None of these conditions are in place.
The testing regime throughout Ireland is woeful. The North has a 50% higher death rate than the South- partially caused by lack of testing from the start.
The HSE in the South says its target is 100,000 tests a week, so why are there 14 day delays in getting testing results back?
More absurdly, the UCD Virus Testing lab – one of the main centres for testing results – is seeking charitable donations from the public to help its work! Why is it not getting proper state funds?
People Before Profit is calling for:
- Public ownership and control of all testing facilities.
- No bailout for private hospitals run by Denis O’ Brien or Larry Goodman.
- Investment in testing and contact tracing.
- Vaccine: The Irish government should make a public declaration calling for an end to all intellectual property rules to allow for global co-operation.
- Proper workplace safety inspectorate who have power to shut unsafe workplaces.
- Recruit more Health and Safety officers to inspect offices, factories and schools .
- End dormitory style facilities for homeless.
- Closure of family ‘hubs’.
- End Direct Provision and grant amnesty refugee status to all
- State take-over all private health facilities – nursing homes and private hospitals – and provide PPE equipment.
There are currently 4,500 health care staff off work or in isolation in the South because of the disastrous lack of planning and safety equipment.
If we don’t plan a proper exit strategy NOW, there will be further disasters later.