Two Galway TDs are among a regional grouping of Dáil deputies calling for cloth face masks to be worn in public and at work to fight the spread of coronavirus.
A ‘Regional Group’ a technical group of TDs, is asking for the National Public Health Emergency Team to consider asking the public to wear cloth face masks to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The Regional Group, which includes Galway TDs Noel Grealish and Denis Naughten, said that they are asking for this based on medical advice from the US Centres for Disease Control.
Reports from the CDC said that many people who contract Covid-19 are asymptomatic, never developing the symptoms of the virus, and even those who eventually do get sick may transmit it before they develop symptoms.
The CDC recommended that cloth face masks be worn in areas where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, such as when shopping for groceries.
“The Regional Group believes Cloth face coverings fashioned from common materials as are being done in other countries at present can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”
“We would hope that the recent ‘Community Call’ initiative announced by government could immediately take a leading role here in providing mask templates and designs for people to copy and manufacture at home or in small businesses.”
“We believe cloth masks may well offer a solution also in coming weeks to allow some numbers of people rejoin work activity while continuing to observe social distance and hygiene protection measures”.
The statement from the regional group stressed that they are not referring to ventilator of respirator type masks, which should be reserved for frontline healthcare workers and medical first responders.
“We have no doubt that the continuing community participation of the Irish people in observing COVID-19 quarantine measures can be directed to provide significant impetus for community manufacture and delivery of this extra protection measure and we would ask government to approve a supporting position as soon as possible to energize and deliver this initiative.”
The full Regional Group of TDs is made up of deputies Cathal Berry (Kildare South), Peter Fitzpatick (Louth), Noel Grealish (Galway West), Michael Lowry (Tipperary), Denis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway), and Matt Shanahan (Waterford).