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Aran Islands residents raise concerns about potential COVID outbreak

Medical staff and ‘adequate procedures’ must be in place on the Aran Islands in the event of a coronavirus outbreak, following reports of another case on the islands in recent days.

That’s according to Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell, who has written to Minister Heather Humphreys after being contacted by a number of concerned residents on the islands.

The second confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported on Inis Mór last week, and the first Covid case reported on the island does not appear to have spread throughout the community.

But Deputy Farrell says that with the reopening of the islands on 29 June, there is a greater potential that the virus may spread.

“I wrote to the Minister and advised her that there had been a great deal of concern amongst residents when the island were reopened,” she said.

“The fact that Inis Mór has only one doctor on the island places it in a very vulnerable position.”

Foreign tourists

The Sinn Féin TD said that Islanders are feeling extremely anxious – and that she has received ‘numerous’ emails from locals regarding foreign tourists to the island.

“They are concerned about the lack of guarantees that these tourists have quarantined for 14 days.

“The Islands continue to be a very popular attraction particularly with US tourists, and as we know, the US continues to struggle with high volumes of Covid-19 cases.”

In Deputy Farrell’s correspondence to the Minister, she asked her to outline what measures will be put in place to deal with a potential Covid-19 outbreak on the island and if any additional medical staff will be provided.

“Residents of Inis Mór deserve to have their concerns acknowledged and addressed.

“It is crucial that those living on the Aran Islands feel safe and protected, especially considering all the measures they took at the outset to keep their islands free from Covid-19.”

Michael Malone
Email me at editor@galwaydaily.com
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