Dublin train drivers have been left with no choice but to resort to extreme measures as they prepare for a possible strike.
As the city braces itself for possible strike action, a new study has found that the number of workers being treated for COVID-19 jumped by up to 50 per cent between November 14 and November 22, while the number suffering from severe respiratory illness dropped by 20 per cent.
The number of cases of respiratory illness rose by 50 per-cent between November 10 and 11, with the number falling by 20% between November 15 and 16.
The Irish Times understands the numbers of people being treated at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin and the National Health Service (NHS) has been put on alert for a potential flare up in COVID cases.
Dublin City Councils health department has said it has received more than 1,000 calls from concerned citizens, with nearly 70 per cent of those concerned having witnessed the number and severity of cases rise.
The National Health Authority has been asked to provide an update on the number, severity and timing of cases, with officials also urging people to be on the lookout for the symptoms of COVID.
Dubliner unions are hoping the strike could spark a wider discussion around how to tackle the pandemic.
Dubliners for Local Action leader Patrick Murphy said he hoped the strike would spark a new wave of campaigning against the current government.
“There is still so much work to do in the coming days to put an end to this crisis,” he said.
“The strike is not only a threat to Dubliners, it’s also a threat for the health of the public, as the health and safety of the workers is at stake.”
If the strike is going to go ahead we need to organise a new strike and we need a real public discussion about the best way forward.
The Health Minister, Leo Varadkar, said he was aware of the potential for further strike action but did not believe the situation was “exemplary”.””
The government must be held accountable for the impact of the crisis on public health and the health system.”
The Health Minister, Leo Varadkar, said he was aware of the potential for further strike action but did not believe the situation was “exemplary”.
“I’m absolutely confident that the health service will be in a position to manage this situation in the best possible manner,” he added.
“This is a complex situation and we are doing everything we can to respond.”
The Government has made no secret of its determination to end the strike and has pledged to bring forward the implementation of a new COVID vaccine by the end of December.