Only a “level 5 lockdown” would contain the spread of a new variant, the health secretary tells Sinn Féin

Only a “full Level 5 lockdown” would curb the spread of the new BA2 variant, Health Minister Sinn Féin said.

Inn Féin health spokesman David Cullinane said Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly told him last night that only a full nationwide lockdown would reduce the spread of the virus.

Minister Donnelly last night told members of the Fianna Fáil party that the real number of cases is likely to be in the hundreds of thousands a week and that “serious new action” is needed to reduce the surge.

“[Minister Donnelly] said the council would be that if you were trying to quell the disease the only way would be to go for a full lockdown because of its transmissibility and there is no justification for that,” Mr Cullinane said.

“Tweaking around the edges or changing hospitality here or there doesn’t make a difference just because of portability.

“Fiddling around the edges with restrictions will not make a difference due to the transmissibility of the disease, meaning the only option is a full Level 5 lockdown and I don’t think there is any justification or public health justification for that give for it,” he told reporters at Leinster House.

He said when there is public health advice from the CMO that restrictions are needed, they should be “heeded” but politicians should not “chase after public health advice and try to pre-empt it”.

Meanwhile, Paul Murphy, TD of Solidarity People Before Profit, said Minister Donnelly’s comments last night to his party members “made no sense” and said there was a need to bring back a legal obligation to wear masks.

“Our frontline workers, whom we have applauded for their work, are crying out for something that needs to be done and yet Stephen Donnelly says we won’t do the bare minimum because it’s so serious.

“I don’t think implementing what is being asked of those on the front lines and bringing back the requirement to wear masks is too much,” Murphy said. Only a “level 5 lockdown” would contain the spread of a new variant, the health secretary tells Sinn Féin

Fry Electronics Team

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