24 March 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central Padraig O’Sullivan has called on the government and HSE to engage with mobile phone providers to establish an opt-in service to give people the most up to date information relating to COVID19.
Deputy O’Sullivan expressed concern that people are not getting the message about staying at home and practicing social distancing.
“The scenes at various beaches and parks across Cork last weekend need to serve as a wake up call to the HSE and the government that their message on social distancing is not getting through. And while the majority of people are abiding by the guidelines the are some who are blatantly flouting it. If we are to get serious about tackling this pandemic then everyone needs to get on board”, said Deputy O’Sullivan.
“I am calling on the HSE and Minister for Communications to work with the mobile phone operators to see if a messaging service could be set up to send people alerts, reminders and updates about the ever changing situation. I realise that under GDPR legislation this may need to be an opt in service, but even this would be better than nothing.
“The alerts could remind people of the social distancing guidelines and the service could be used to keep people informed about how to go about getting a test for COVID 19 as well as giving them the procedures to expect when they arrive at the testing centre etc.
“I know that there is an ongoing public information campaign, but alerts and updates could help remind people to stay indoors and stay apart; something which was clearly not observed last weekend”, concluded Deputy O’Sullivan.