Coronavirus in Ireland – “Fear and Fear” Among Teachers and Students...

According to ASTI, there is “fear and concern among teachers and students” about the possibility of the country being moved into Level 5 restrictions and schools remaining open.

The secondary school teachers union contacted the education minister over a week ago after reports the country might move to level 5 and asked for a review of health advice and support to schools to see if they were adequate.

Schools in Ireland will remain open


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ASTI Secretary General Kieran ChristiePhoto credit: Tommy Clancy

ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie renewed these calls yesterday in response to a second recommendation from NPHET to move Ireland to Level 5.

On Saturday from RTE with Katie Hannon, Christie said, “Schools reopened when numbers were much lower than they are now and community transmission was much lower than it is now.

“We are now asking the question of whether the whole of society is moving to level five. Are the support and arrangements in the schools appropriate in view of the changed situation? ”

He added that membership voting on industrial action over safety concerns during the pandemic was still ongoing.

When asked when a decision could be made about this, he replied, “The end of next week is the schedule.”

He said industrial action is “a last resort” and the union is working with the department to avoid the need for “drastic action”.

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Meanwhile, a public health expert fears it’s too late to save Christmas – but believes an elimination approach to Covid-19 could get the public back on the streets for Paddy’s Day.

Prof. Anthony Staines believes that the best way for Europe is to adopt the Zero Covid Strategy, which would allow the country to return to some degree of normalcy in terms of daily life, trade and tourism .

The DCU public health guru said Ireland had led the push to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces and urged Taoiseach Micheal Martin to take the step to bring Covid levels to zero.

And the public health systems professor believes that such a move would be “colossal” for the country and continent without a vaccine – which he fears it could never happen.

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Prof. Staines spoke last night as health chiefs revealed another eight Covid-related deaths in Ireland.

The Health Protection Surveillance Center also reported 1,276 new cases of the virus, bringing the total to 48,678.

Ireland is currently at level 3 of the government’s Covid plan, with the exception of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, which have been moved to level 4 to move closer to the emergency restrictions introduced in the north of the border.

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