Deputy Malcolm Noonan is calling on Kilkenny businesses who are continuing to trade during the Covid-19 pandemic to shut if they cannot comply with social distancing recommendations.
To date there are 11 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Kilkenny and that number is expected to rise significantly over the coming days.
There have been a number of reports that certain businesses are not complying with the required distance of two metres per person.
The HSE are asking the public to remain at least two metres apart in accordance with social distancing. Social distancing is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.
Deputy Noonan told The Kilkenny People that if local business could not manage social distancing among their patrons then they should shut their doors to protect public health and the welfare of their staff.
Deputy Noonan was speaking following a number of complaints in had received from members of the public.
"Italy is tragically paying the price of delayed action and while I accept the current advice of the Chief Medical Officer on the current containment strategy, I am of the view that there is still far too much opportunity for contamination and far too many people showing total disregard for vulnerable groups, our healthcare workers and the health service itself," said Deputy Noonan.
He said that everyone needs to play their part in flattening the curve and that it was unfair that many shops had taken the hit for the greater good, with many people sticking rigidly to the plan but added that there remains a significant challenge towards minimising loss of life and the inudation of our health system.
"I cannot stress enough how bad this could end for us here. If people are congregating in large numbers where social distancing guidelines aren't being adhered to , then it is my view that we should move to lockdown but for essential services.
"Covid-19 has the potential to rip through the very fabric of our society, taking many of our loved ones in its wake. I am pleading once more for common sense to prevail for the common good," added Deputy Noonan.
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