McGrath Calls For Clearer Health Statements On Covid-19

McGrath says health communication over Covid-19 needs to be clearer.

McGrath says health communication over Covid-19 needs to be clearer.

The Chairperson of the Stormont Executive Office Committee, Colin McGrath MLA (SDLP), has asked for clearer and more robust messaging from the Executive Office, regarding the ongoing coronavirus public health guidelines and restrictions.

The South Down MLA has said that the increasing numbers of positive coronavirus cases and hospital admissions could be a result of the failure of the current messaging strategy to get through to the public.

South Down MLA Colin McGrath, concerned about the
standard of health communications

Mr McGrath commented: “The number of positive cases is rising, and the number of hospitalisations is increasing.

“Nobody wants to see either of those and we all must play our part to tackle the spread of this virus.

“If the messaging was effective and people were complying with the restrictions, then the numbers should be going down. That is not the case.”

Querying whether the current messaging from the Executive Office is enough to provoke a collective community response to prevent the spread of the virus, Mr McGrath asked the Joint First Ministers if there is a need to review the messaging to ensure maximum effectiveness in encouraging people to follow current health guidelines.

Mr McGrath added: “Throughout this pandemic, people have made immense sacrifices. The reason we were able to loosen restrictions was due to the hard work of people across the North. People must continue to be vigilant and take steps to protect one another, but the advice needs to be clear.”

“I hope the Joint First Ministers will take on board the comments I have made and look at how we improve communication.”