9 DFómh 2020, 09.45
The last piece of work of the Special Oireachtas Committee on Covid-19 Response has been completed with the publication of its report on its hearings. The Dáil Order which wound up the work of the Committee asked that it refer matters to the relevant sectoral committees that are now up and running in the Houses of the Oireachtas.
The Report marks the culmination of an examination of a huge body of work by the Special Committee where it took evidence over 29 meetings often with multiple sessions. The Report links back all those debates and it also includes a link to the written submissions received by the Committee following a public consultative process.
Speaking today, the outgoing Chairman, Michael McNamara TD, outlined that the work of the Oireachtas in carrying out effective oversight of the response to Covid-19 would have to continue as we all learn to live with the pandemic.
Deputy McNamara said: “Our report looks back and makes recommendations on where the Committee felt we could and should have done better and it is also forward looking in terms of the need for better systems to cope with and to supress Covid-19 in our communities.
“We need a stronger regulatory framework to protect our older population, people in direct provision and low paid workers like those in meat plants, many of whom do not have access to sick pay. We also need to be able to respond more rapidly to outbreaks through a quick testing and tracing regime.
“Finally, we need address long term systemic issue such as great levels of public health support which will allow as many as possible of our elderly to be cared for in their communities and away from long term institutional. The State has a huge job to do to achieve this but that is the challenge we now face.”
Read the full report here.
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