Eastwood raises PPE and exit strategy with Raab

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has urged the British Government to enhance COVID19 interventions in a call with Minister Dominic Raab.
Colum EastwoodColum Eastwood
Colum Eastwood

During the call on Thursday night, the Foyle MP raised the urgent need for a consistent supply of high quality PPE for use in clinical and community settings, a mass testing and tracing operation as part of a lockdown exit strategy and additional support for regional airports.

Mr Eastwood: “I had a productive conversation with Minister Dominic Raab and impressed upon him the need for the British Government to urgently step up its COVID19 intervention programme to save lives.

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“Our frontline healthcare workers must be provided with appropriate protection at all times and they must have confidence that the supply will last until the end of this crisis.

“I also raised the need for a lockdown exit strategy. As soon as it’s safe to do so, we need to begin lifting the lockdown. Everyday more and more people lose their jobs and businesses face closure. A mass testing and tracing operation is critical to timing the next phase of our response to this crisis.

“It is particularly important in communities like ours with well dispersed populations where outbreak and isolation control can be more effectively managed.

“And it’s also important that our regional air links are protected from the impact of this crisis. We cannot allow communities, particularly in the North West, to suffer further isolation as a result of air link deterioration. I made the needs of our local industry very clear.”

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He added: “This crisis will continue for a substantial period. It is essential that we put measures in place to save as many lives as possible and ensure that we can manage the reconstruction phase as well as possible.”