Galway TD calls for public release of all data behind decision to exit lockdown

Galway Daily news Disappointment that no occupational injury benefits coming for Long Covid sufferers

Galway TD Denis Naughten is calling for all of the data behind the decision to lift Level 5 lockdown restrictions to be made publicly available.

The country is moving back into Level 3 restrictions from next week after experiencing a further six weeks of lockdown on the heel of a sharp rise in case numbers in Autumn.

Making the information on how this decision was arrived at available to the public will help people to understand the decision Deputy Naughten said.

Over the course of this year, criticism has often been levied at the government that the decisions being made behind COVID-19 restrictions can appear arbitrary, and the decision making process itself has often appeared opaque.

On top of being a matter of public trust and understanding, Denis Naughten said that a look at the raw data will help us to see how the virus can be controlled in our communities, with a view towards avoiding fresh lockdowns in 2021.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said in recent days that a third, short lockdown may be necessary in the New Year, possibly in January of February.

“This data must also be used to reform the current five level restriction model, which is clearly not fit for purpose as we are now again looking at a level 3 plus.

“This is proof enough that these levels need to be completely revised with the aid of this information,” Denis Naughten said.

From next Tuesday, December 1 shops, hairdressers, and other retail businesses and services will be allowed to reopen, as will cultural venues such as museums, galleries, and cinemas.

Restaurants and pubs serving food will be allowed to reopen from December 4 can reopen for indoor dining with additional restrictions, while wet pubs will only be allowed to operate takeaway and delivery services.

However, no visitors to your home are permitted until December 18, except for those in your support bubble. Inter-county travel will also remain restricted up to that date.

“Over the last month I have been consistently reassured by An Taoiseach that Government is utilising all the contact tracing data collected from over 70,000 positive cases,” stated Denis Naughten.

“This information can be used to tell us who, where and how people are getting infected with Covid-19. This information and the data behind it, must now be put into the public domain.”

“Furthermore, we need to ensure that we now have a robust contact tracing system which can identify sources of infection quickly and have people and their close contacts isolated before this virus spreads to the community.”