Deputy Martin Browne: Government has failed to tackle meat plants over Covid-19
Tipperary TD Martin Browne has said that the latest Covid-19 recommendations highlighted how the Government had failed to respond to the growing crisis in the meat processing plants, failed to address the substandard living conditions of many and failed to indicate that there is any coherent approach to the return of our schools.
“Promising to ramp-up testing is meaningless to direct provision centres and nursing homes unless there are actions to back this up. Vague, unspecified promises mean nothing without detail and visible action," he said.
The Sinn Féin TD said that the Government had failed to protect these settings towards the beginning of the pandemic, even though Sinn Féin highlighted them early on.
“Testing should already have been increased substantially in some settings such as meat factories, given the recent spate of outbreaks. But just saying they’ll increase testing and monitoring rings hollow without the specifics. The Government must introduce widespread, blanket testing," he said.
Deputy Browne highlighted that the public had been asked to avoid public transport where possible, yet the Government still planned to cram children on to buses with no social distancing.
“Parents are failed here. How are they expected to accept this double standard while the Government won’t commit to laying on more buses and providing for additional hygiene measures?" he said.
“All these issues remain, yet people over 70 are being asked again to distance themselves from society. They are punished while the settings that are clearly prone to outbreaks remain unaddressed," said Deputy Browne.
Sports clubs had also been targeted and rural communities will be impacted, he warned.
“Sinn Féin is ready and willing to support the Government in taking measures that will protect society. Indeed, we welcome the additional powers to be given to the Gardaí to enforce the guidelines aimed at combating Covid-19.
“But the government cannot be allowed to continue to fall short when it comes to testing and tracing. It cannot be allowed to continue to fail to address the settings where the virus is transmitted the most," he said.