Aoife Moore: The Government still has no real plan to get out of this pandemic

Aoife Moore: The Government still has no real plan to get out of this pandemic

It’s almost an achievement of this Government that it continues to learn nothing from each rake it stands on.

After 20 months of Covid-19, the Government still has no real plan to get us out of the pandemic.

The vaccines, which have greatly reduced illness and death, are not the silver bullet the Government promised.

Remember September, when the Government was considering disbanding Nphet?

We stopped contact tracing in schools, nightclubs were allowed to reopen with a few hours’ notice of the guidelines, much-delayed advice on ventilation and the Covid cert was imposed, with a postcode lottery on whether enforcement was actually checked.

Now, just weeks after the late-night sector reopened, the Government has announced a curfew, with two days’ notice.

The Government promised there would be no return to restrictions and yet a few weeks on, we have a new raft of restrictions and essentially the closure of nightclubs — without saying it’s a closure because then it might have to pay for it.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said there were “no plans envisaged to change” the PUP being phased out. He told the Dáil that Tuesday’s announcements “won’t be hugely impactful” on employment. 

There is no arguing that cases are rising and everyone is concerned. Our main priority, as always, is protecting the health service and we are constantly warned the hospital system is on the brink and close to collapse. 

To much fanfare, the budget saw €4bn announced for the health service, a record number, with no real evidence of improvement in services and consistent fear of lack of ICU beds.

Weeks spent back-slapping over a possible €500 bonus for healthcare workers stood in stark contrast to what frontline health staff actually wanted, which is what they always want: Better pay and conditions, and increased capacity in our hospitals.

Ireland entered the pandemic well below the OECD average of critical care beds, while health unions have been shouting into the void, for years, that we were staring down the barrel of a crisis.

The Government will say it inherited the health service and all the problems that come with i

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