From top: Robert Watt and Dr Tony Holohan
Via RTÉ news:
The Watt Report into the abandoned appointment of Dr Tony Holohan to a post at TCD says the Minister for Health was not informed of details or that it was even a secondment, RTÉ News has learned.
Robert Watt, Department Secretary General, has argued that it was his area of delegated responsibility under the law, so the minister did not need to be informed.
It says there are many secondments, perhaps 50/60 between the Department, HSE, other bodies and that it not an unusual thing and not a matter for the minister, but a staffing and personnel issue.
It indicates that the CMO may have initiated the contact with Trinity and it developed from there.
The report acknowledges that more information sooner would have been better, but that the appointment leaked and the department had to put out statements.
It says the funding had not been agreed fully at that stage, but it may have been done through the Health Research Board…
More as we get it.
Minister did not need to be informed of CMO secondment – Watt Report (RTE)
Via RTE news:
“There has to be transparency…in my view it should be paused, there has to be a reassessment as to how the objectives behind this can be realised,” the Taoiseach said.
Secretary General at the Department of Health Robert Watt is now compiling a report on the secondment and this is expected to be completed by Monday.
The Taoiseach said he had not commented until now on the matter because he had not received all the details “behind it.”
He said that he would like see the report on Monday but it would make sense to him to have the issue reassessed.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said earlier this week that he did not sign off on the secondment of Dr Holohan to TCD, but said he fully supports it.
Taoiseach says Holohan secondment has to be paused until report (RTE)
Health Committee, Dail Eireann.
Via RTÉ News:
Outgoing Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said it is not his intention to return to the role “at any point in the future“.
In his opening statement to the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Dr Holohan said his secondment to Trinity College Dublin means he has relinquished his role as CMO.
He announced last month that he is taking on a new role as Professor of Public Health Strategy and Leadership at TCD.
A TCD spokesperson has said the role is “funded by the Department of Health … under the same terms and conditions of his existing contract”.
The TCD role was not put out to open competition and the university said it “was created with Dr Holohan in mind”.
Holohan says he does not intend to return to CMO role (RTE)
The hero we didn’t deserve.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
Via RTÉ News:
The Chief Medical Officer will tell the Oireachtas Health Committee today that the current Covid-19 outlook in Ireland is broadly positive.
However, TDs and Senators will also hear that the global public health risk remains high and the country must be able to respond rapidly to any emerging threat.
Dr Tony Holohan will tell the committee that the overall situation has much improved due to vaccination, adherence to health measures, as well as the reduced virulence of the Omicron variant.
He believes that while the pandemic is not over, it is safe to return to activities, such as socialising, exercise, work and travel.
Pandemic not over but safe to return to activities – Holohan (Independent.ie)
Via Irish Times:
Several high-ranking sources said that the Nphet advice had been sprung on the Government, with no indications at a meeting on Tuesday between the Coalition leaders and senior Nphet officials that such a draconian stance would be taken.
Senior sources said that the proposed 5pm closing time could be extended until 9 or 10pm, but stressed that this would depend on the discussions between the party leaders this morning and the decision of the Cabinet when it meets later in the afternoon.
Several people involved in discussions on the issue in Government said that the Nphet proposals amounted to an effective lockdown of the hospitality industry. “This is a lockdown by stealth,” one said.
Backbench revolt against ‘lockdown by stealth’ appears to grow following shock Nphet advice (Irish Times)
Earlier: “It Would Be Closure For Many”
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer
Via RTE News:
increased risk led Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan to warn last night that anyone planning to spend Christmas with older family members, the immunocompromised or those vulnerable to the effects of Covid needed to now avoid crowds, limit their contacts, and work from home unless absolutely necessary.
This is the backdrop to today’s meeting of NPHET which is widely expected to make recommendations to the Government around reducing social mixing, as well as advising that all close contacts of those with Covid restrict their movements.
The possibility of tightening restrictions still further on hospitality led the Restaurants Association of Ireland to warn that such a move would have a “devastating economic impact on businesses already flattened financially”.
NPHET meets amid warning Omicron could cause record high in hospitalisations (RTE)
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer
The cabinet covid committee is to meet later to discuss recommendations contained in a letter yesterday to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly from the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan rergarding socialising this Christmas.
Via RTÉ News:
It is believed that concern has led NPHET to consider recommending the reduction of socialising in the run-up to Christmas – including limiting household gatherings to the host family plus three other households.
It is understood further limitations on hospitality which were being examined included table service; multiple table bookings being discontinued; the number of people allowed at any one table being limited to six people; and further limits on opening times.
A proposal to further extend the use of Covid certs to other areas beyond hospitality – a plan rejected by Government a few weeks ago – is also believed to be a preferred option.
Cabinet Covid committee to meet over NPHET recommendations (RTÉ)
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health this afternoon
Department of Health, Dublin 2.
Via RTÉ News:
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said NPHET has been very clear that people need to be mindful about social contacts; that they need to be halved in order to get transmission of the virus under control.
He said the chance of someone “bumping into the virus” while out is “very high“.
A key difference between this and last Christmas is that most of the population is vaccinated – that allows so much of society to remain open, Dr Holohan said.
Acceleration of Covid cases giving ‘concern’, says NPHET (RTE)
Department of Health, Baggott, Street, Dublin 2.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan at the weekly Department of Health Covid -19 briefing…
…said NPHET had a ‘substantial concern” about the number of ICU beds being taken up by Covid-19 patients because he said the knock-on effect is that those beds would normally by ordinary people who cannot get access to surgeries or interventions
Dr Holohan warned fully-vaccinated people that there are still risks involved with getting Covid-19 “even if those risks are substantially reduced”.
“Just because everything is open doesn’t mean we all have to do them or that we all have to do them at the same time,” he said.
The Chief Medical Officer said it would “be sensible” for people who were in nightclubs at the weekend to stay away from vulnerable people in the following days.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn [above] said the trajectory for Covid-19 infection in Ireland in the coming days and weeks is not good..
He said that although 42% of cases in ICU were fully vaccinated people, the key point is that 58% of people in ICU are not vaccinated.
NPHET concerned by growing Covid rates as 101 in ICU (RTÉ)