Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called for an assurance Public Health Agency information will remain fully clear and updated, and emphasised the coronavirus is a public health priority for everyone.
The South Belfast MLA was speaking in the wake of a number of new cases of the virus being confirmed in Northern Ireland, bringing the total to date to 12 here since testing began.
“It is essential we all play our part in restricting the spread of the new coronavirus and therefore limiting the number of COVID-19 infections. Much of the information concerning how to do this, not least with reference to hand-washing, is clear,” said Ms Bradshaw.
“However, it is vital public health information is kept updated and communicated widely. I am concerned to hear there is no information at some UK airports, for example, not least concerning what passengers on flights from areas with high infection rates should do.
“People returning from areas with high infection rates, notably most of northern Italy, should immediately head home and self-isolate, and this should be made absolutely clear at all ports of entry to the UK and Ireland.
“Likewise, now that we have cases of transmission within the UK and Ireland, it is vital anyone at all, even those who have not travelled, who is tested for the virus should head home and self-isolate immediately until there is a negative test result.
“I would encourage the entire Executive to take steps to ensure people who need to work remotely can do so, including with reference to caring arrangements. However, the key point here is this is a public health priority for us all as citizens. We all have a role in ensuring the spread is contained.”