FF Senator: There have been shortcomings
The number of new Covid-19 cases in Roscommon remains low following confirmation of five or fewer cases yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), leaving the county with the third lowest 14-day incidence rate in the country at 122.4.
Nationally, the death toll for Covid-19 surpassed 4,000 yesterday as 57 additional deaths and 650 new cases were confirmed. It means that there have now been 4,036 Covid-related deaths in the country since the pandemic began.
As of 8 am yesterday morning, 831 patients remain hospitalised with the disease, 154 of which are in ICU. There had been 49 additional hospitalisations in the previous 24 hours.
On the vaccination front, 271,942 doses had been administered in Ireland as of Sunday, 14th with 180,192 receiving their first dose and 91,750 receiving their second.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy moved to defend the Government’s handling of the pandemic this week.
Speaking to the Roscommon People on Tuesday, Senator Murphy said: “I can understand people’s frustrations. I will admit that there have been shortcomings in certain areas, but hindsight is a great thing. This is an unprecedented situation which has thrown up a lot of problems for governments all over the world”.
In response to recent criticism over Ireland’s progress with vaccinations compared to neighbours Britain, Senator Murphy accused Boris Johnson of “playing Brexit” with the pandemic.
“As part of the EU we had to wait for our first supply of the vaccines. We are most hopeful that come August and September we will be well on the way with the vaccine and we will be closer and closer to a return to some sort of normality.
“I’ll admit that within Government circles we’d probably do things differently. The problem is that the goalposts are moving all the time. The issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine changed the outlook and because of that we couldn’t make plans to vaccinate the over 70s. New variations of the disease have also thrown another spanner into the works,” he said.
On whether it was the right decision to reopen the hospitality and retail sectors before Christmas, he said: “If we hadn’t reopened there would have been murder. People might look back and say we could have done things differently, but the Government has to do what’s best for the whole country”.