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Ministers for Health Establish the COVID-19 Advisory Group

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, and Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan, have announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Advisory Group.

The group will advise the Minister for Health and Government on how best to maximise Ireland’s medium to long-term preparedness against SARS-CoV-2. The group will:

  • Note the evolving epidemiological assessment of COVID-19, provided by the monitoring processes in place through the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
  • Monitor new and emerging evidence with regard to existing technologies, practices and interventions for the detection and control of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Undertake horizon scanning, including internationally, such that new technologies, practices and interventions may be appropriately integrated into the public health response to any emerging SARS-CoV-2 threat.
  • Advise the Minister and Government on experiences in other countries and jurisdictions in relation to SARS-CoV-2, where there are implications and/or potential learnings or actions for Ireland.
  • Advise the Minister and Government on medium and long-term responses that may become necessary as part of the response to COVID-19.

Since the last meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) for COVID-19, Ireland has transitioned from the emergency phase of the pandemic to a phase where the focus moved from regulation and population wide restrictions to public health advice, personal judgement and personal protective behaviours.

This new phase of Ireland’s response to COVID-19 requires an approach that is informed by national and international evidence, grounded in best public health practice, with a broad, multidisciplinary membership encompassing members with specific expertise and experience in areas of strategic and/or operational responsibility.

Minister Donnelly said, “I am delighted to announce the COVID-19 Advisory Group and its membership today. This very excellent group includes a wide range of expertise. Our hospitalisations are falling at present, which is reassuring. However, COVID-19 remains a threat and there is no way to know for sure what lies ahead. We need to be prepared. The COVID-19 Advisory Group will make best use of national expertise, international data and evidence.”

“I would like to thank the members of the group for volunteering their time and energy to Ireland’s ongoing response to this pandemic.”

Minister Feighan said, “COVID-19 created obvious challenges to our public health system. It is vital now that we use all of the expertise and evidence available to us to continue to protect our health service while also allowing us to respond to the any future risks COVID-19 may pose.”

“I look forward to working with the COVID-19 Advisory Group as we move to this next stage of our collective response to COVID-19.”


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