'Failure to act will cost lives,' says Waterford TD David Cullinane. Stock photo
Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane says that it is time to scale up emergency measures and restrictions to combat the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Deputy Cullinane says that "other countries have learned, to their cost, that delay costs lives and we don’t want to learn that lesson here."
He is calling for "mixed messages" from Government to stop.
"In the space of a few short weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused levels of national and international disruption unprecedented in our lifetimes," Deputy Cullinane tells WaterfordLive.ie.
"Welcome interventions have been made to get ahead of this virus, to slow it down and to flatten the curve, but the truth is that we now need more urgent, decisive action from the Government. They need to be taking every necessary measure to save lives.
"Social distancing is central to this strategy, but Government ministers can't criticise young people for gathering together, while at the same time saying that gathering of up to 500 people outdoors are still allowed. The mixed messages must stop."
Deputy Cullinane describes images circulating on social media of large congregations at beaches and popular mountain spots without adhering to social distancing guidelines as "disappointing". He continues: "Failure to act will cost lives.
"People in workplaces where there is no real prospect of social distancing are also worried that they are bringing the virus home. They ask why it is that - in this race against time - the Government have not yet introduced full measures to protect them and to give full effect to social distancing?
“While the vast majority of retailers and businesses are acting responsibly, it is clear a small number are not. Any complaints I receive about retailers and businesses not adhering to social guidelines or proper health and safety precautions will be reported to the HSE."