Longford business man says incredulous NPHET Level 5 proposal would have catastrophic economic consequences

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Longford business man says incredulous NPHET Level 5 proposal would have catastrophic economic consequences

Seamus Butler

Longford business man and Fianna Fáil county councillor, Seamus Butler, has criticised the National Public Health Emergency Team for proposing that the country should go into a Level 5 lockdown.

Cllr Butler, Managing Director, BMS Ltd and a member of the Government's new SME Growth Taskforce, stated today, “I, like most business owners, read with shock the leaked information that NPHET proposed a Level 5 lockdown late yesterday.”

He added, “It is frankly incredulous that they completely changed their advice four days ago, and then the information was leaked to put pressure on the Government to comply.”

Also read: NPHET's proposed Level 5 lockdown would be 'economic suicide' says Longford businessman

Cllr Butler suggested a Level 5 lockdown would ‘put the majority of SME’s in this country at risk of closing’. 

“It will have catastrophic economic consequences, not to mention serious societal and mental health consequences heading into the middle of Winter, especially for our elderly and vulnerable neighbours and friends.”

He continued, “I would plead on the behalf of our business, and all the businesses in the country, that a gradual approach be put into place, if required, rather than a catastrophic approach and as espoused by NPHET. 

“Even if a lock down were to succeed, it will not yield anything except a short term benefit in the absence of a properly funded and efficient test and trace regime in place, along with expanded capacity to deal with Covid-19 patients who require intensive care.

EXPLAINER: What are the LEVEL 3 restrictions ALL COUNTIES could face this week?

“Furthermore, the time has also come for the cross departmental national emergency committee, as set out in the 2017 National Emergency Plan, to be headed by the Taoiseach or Tánaiste is put into place to lead Covid-19 strategy with expert medical input. 

“NPHET are no longer fit for purpose. They are a purely medical and HSE based body who should not be making decisions for the whole country, without input from all stakeholders in society as a whole.”

Also read: People in Longford are being asked to follow Public Health advice following an increase in Covid-19 levels in recent weeks