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Zero tolerance Green Party councillors call for Zero Covid strategy to eliminate virus

They said other countries have proven it is an effective plan to stop the spread of Covid-19

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The councillors are calling for a Zero Covid approach similar to the one that has been achieved in New Zealand. New Zealand held the biggest concert of its kind since lockdown took place last Saturday. 14,000 fans gathered to see one of the country’s favourite bands SIX60.

The councillors are calling for a Zero Covid approach similar to the one that has been achieved in New Zealand. New Zealand held the biggest concert of its kind since lockdown took place last Saturday. 14,000 fans gathered to see one of the country’s favourite bands SIX60.

The councillors are calling for a Zero Covid approach similar to the one that has been achieved in New Zealand. New Zealand held the biggest concert of its kind since lockdown took place last Saturday. 14,000 fans gathered to see one of the country’s favourite bands SIX60.

A group of Green Party councillors have called on their party to pursue a Zero Covid strategy to stop the spread of the virus.

In a letter to their parliamentary party, the councillors insisted a Zero Covid plan – which effectively involves closing down international borders – would reduce deaths and lessen the economic and societal damage caused by the virus.

The councillors said the Green Party “prides itself” on its commitment to “ethics and science” and added that they are “dismayed by the degree to which our Government has departed from public health advice”.

“False trade-offs between public health and the economy or society have been cited in making these departures. In actual fact, the higher the virus transmission rate, the greater the societal and economic impact,” they added.

The councillors said other countries that have introduced Zero Covid strategies have proven it is an effective plan to stop the spread of the virus.

They said they believe the Border with Northern Ireland is being used by the Government as a “pretext to avoid real engagement” on pursuing a strategy which would involve an all-island approach to closing down borders.

They said there has “not yet been a sustained diplomatic effort between our Government and the Northern Assembly” to reach agreement on a Zero Covid strategy on both sides of the Border.

“A Zero Covid strategy is aimed at allowing everyone to resume a more or less normal pattern of life, replacing the current situation where our population is likely to face rolling lockdowns and significant health risks for many months,” they said.

“This aim has been achieved in New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and Vietnam. None of these countries are replicas of each other, and all faced their own challenges in implementing a Zero Covid strategy.

"New Zealand and Taiwan have had the virus under control since April 2020. The people of Ireland deserve the same level of determination from their Government. We need leadership now, not defeatism,” they added.

The councillors urged the party to engage with the Independent Scientific and Advisory Group on Covid-19 (ISAGCOVID19) which is made up of experts such as Prof Aoife McLysaght and Prof Anthony Staines.

The letter was signed by Green Party councillors Liam Quaide, Una Power, Laura Donaghy, Lourda Scott, Oisín O'Connor and Alan O’Connor.

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