Council chair appeals for vigilance against COVID as lockdown eases

The Chair of Mid Ulster District Council has again urged residents of the district to remain guarded against the threat of COVID-19 as restrictions begin to ease.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 2:15 pm

Addressing April’s council meeting, the Chair, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan noted there have been more than 7,000 deaths across the island as a result of COVID-19 and said it was “very important” that residents continue to follow the public health guidance.

“It is so important that people continue to be cautious in terms of how they approach this,” said the Chair.

“We need to do this right and carefully, we certainly don’t want to find ourselves going into a new set of restrictions in the future.

“The only way we can help and try to support our business community out there is to try and be careful as possible so that means washing your hands, keeping your distance and wearing a face covering, all those things that have become so well known to us.

“I just hope that as these relaxations come into place and people start feeling relaxed that things don’t begin to slip.”

The Chair also praised the efforts of all those involved in the vaccination roll-out but noted more may need to be done to encourage uptake of the vaccine throughout the younger population.

“The vaccination roll-out is extraordinary, 35 per cent of the population in the North has received their first dose” he said.

“It has been a tremendous piece of work by everyone involved and I commend them for it.

“I was given an update on the roll-out by the Public Health Agency (PHA) today and the uptake among the older cohort of the population has been tremendous.

“As they go down through the younger cohorts, however, the numbers taking the vaccine seems to be slowing and that is something we may need to be concerned about in the future.”

He also revealed that walk-in clinics may be set up in the next few weeks in factories and businesses across the district to administer the vaccination to those working in these places of employment.

“I understand that over the next few weeks vaccination teams will be going into particular areas to try and get walk-in clinics set up,” he said.

“In Mid Ulster this could mean that manufacturing and food production factories will have clinics on site. This would allow people to come from their work place and get a vaccination.

“I think that is a fantastic intervention by the PHA and all that is involved in the roll out.”

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