Covid-19: The rate 14-day incidence rate Donegal is more than twice the national average
Donegal TD Pádraig MacLochlainn said he has been left “conflicted” by the Covid-19 situation in the county.
The county has the highest rate of Covid-19 infection on the island at more than ten times that in Kerry and more than five times the rate in Sligo.
The deputy made the comments with 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 people in the county more than twice the national average. The seven-day figure is almost three times the rate in the neighbouring Derry and Strabane District Council area.
He said that while he would want the number of cases in the county to be as low as possible, he would not “stand by and let people say Donegal is so reckless”.
“The last four months have been horrible and what we have asked of the people of Donegal is that we have asked them to go against everything that is in their nature,” he said.
“We have asked them to go against everything that is in their instinct as human beings. And if some people are letting their guard down, I am not going to start preaching to them. I am not going to judge them. I wish they wouldn't but I understand how it is happening.”
The Sinn Féin TD made an appeal to everyone in the county to adhere to public health regulations.
“The reports I am getting [say] there are events happening in houses, things like that. We have to send the message we are not there yet. We have not reached the point where we have this vaccine beat. We don’t have the vaccination levels that would give you real comfort. I still support the public health calls and I know in my heart that we need to keep at this.”
The Inishowen-based TD said the Government has made mistakes in dealing with the pandemic with test and trace and the slow introduction of quarantine.
“The Government have made huge mistakes. I genuinely hand on heart hope that we hit the [vaccination] targets that they have set for June. But we have to say last year, the contact tracing was a disaster. The quarantine at the airports - I can’t for the life of me understand why when we were making our people to lock down and shut down the country, why did we not have the same response at our airports.”
He said why he would love the numbers to be as low as in Kerry, he “would not preach to our people because our people have made unbelievable sacrifices”.
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