By Elizabeth Lee
AHEAD of the August bank holiday, the agencies that make up the South East Regional Steering Group (An Gárda Siochána, the HSE and the five local authorities) are reminding people to follow public health advice and to stay vigilant in relation to Covid-19.
The Gardaí, the HSE (through its Public Health Deptartment, South East Community Healthcare and the acute hospitals in the region) and county councils in Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford have thanked people for their impressive efforts to date but say everyone must remain vigilant to the disease if we are to control it at this point.
Kate Killeen White (chief officer of South East Community Healthcare) chairs the HSE crisis management team (CMT) and has acknowledged that the collective actions of communities in the region have clearly made a difference. Kate, however, adds: “We are now at a crucial point in our response to Covid-19. Over the coming days it is vital that everyone continues to avoid large crowds, physically distance, wear face coverings where appropriate and wash hands regularly.”
Endorsing this message and reminding people that Covid-19 is extremely infectious and that no-one is immune are the respective chief executives of the five local authorities – Kathleen Holohan (Carlow), Colette Byrne (Kilkenny and chair of South East Regional Steering Group), Joe MacGrath (Tipperary), Michael Walsh (Waterford city and county) and Tom Enright (Wexford) and the gárda chief superintendents for the region – Derek Smart (Tipperary), Dennis Ferry (Wexford) and Pádraig Dunne (Waterford and acting for Carlow-Kilkenny).
The South East Regional Steering Group has pointed to the latest figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team, which demonstrate how quickly Covi-19 can remerge. Over a two-day period, Ireland moved from a relatively stable situation to a significant pattern connected to outbreaks. In such circumstances, the South East Regional Steering Group advise we now need to be really careful and adhere to public health advice so we do not further spread the virus.