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Dr Ronan Glynn: 'People who need to self-isolate should have no fear about their employment'

Dr Glynn said people should be compensated for their 14-day self-isolation.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
Image: Oireachtas TV

DR RONAN GLYNN has said people who test positive for Covid-19 should have “no fear” about their employment situation after their 14-day self-isolation.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer told the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 today that some people do not wish to come forward for testing due to economic implications.

At this morning’s Committee, Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd raised concerns regarding people not coming forward for testing.

Dr Glynn said people who are required to self-isolate should be reimbursed for the 14 days they are required to do so.

“We need to ensure that anyone who does test positive and has to isolate, or contacts who have to restrict their movements, that they don’t have any fear about their employment after the 14 days and indeed that they’ll be given adequate compensation for the 14 days that they are off work,” said Dr Glynn.

“Economic circumstances simply should not be a barrier to people coming forward and getting tested,” he said.

Dr Glynn also faced questions regarding extended restrictions in Co Kildare and on schools reopening.

Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless said that he wants to know why the county is still in lockdown, adding that electoral district-level data should be made available on a daily basis by NPHET.

“People need this data today. Can it be made available immediately as it would drive support for the measures,” he said. 

Colm Henry says advice is ‘clear’ that you must restrict movements for 14 days when arriving from non-Green List country

Dr Glynn said that the dashboard with this information will be updated by the end of the week and said that the situation in Co Kildare has not been perfect.

“The county boundary is crude, but we had to take some crude measures,” he said. “At times you have to move fast at the enemy at the expense of precision.”

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Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (IEMAG) Professor Philip Nolan, meanwhile, said the situation in Laois, Offaly and Kildare could have happened in any county and that most counties “have the kind of workplace settings that are capable of amplifying the disease”.

Speaking before the Committee, Dr Glynn said schoolchildren who test negative for the virus and who are 48 hours free of symptoms “should be able to return to school” and said that pupils in both national and secondary schools should have at least 1m to 1.5m distance between them.

Dr Glynn stressed that the most important aspect of tackling Covid-19 was people coming forward for testing.

“That is how we will control the disease,” he said.

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