CMO to appear before Oireachtas

The chief medical officer and the HSE chief executive will appear before a special Oireachtas Covid-19 committee later, to answer questions over their handling of the crisis so far.

It comes as last night's Department of Health figures show the lowest daily death toll increase since March 27th. 

1,547 people have so far lost their lives, while there have been 24,200 cases. 

Former HSE chief Tony O’Brien has raised social distancing concerns over the country's top health officials appearing at a lengthy Dáil committee today. 

But Dr Tony Holohan says he wouldn't attend if he didn't feel the meeting was safe.

"I've been invited and I'm going to attend, but the precise arrangements will obviously have to comply with the public health advice, as will any public meeting, any public organisation organising meetings including ourselves have to organise them in a way that will enable the participants to comply with the public health advice.

"Obviously given the positions and the roles we hold we have to be seen to uphold our own public health advice.

"Of course I wouldn't go if I didn't think it was safe."

Committee member Louise O'Reilly meanwhile says deputies will be particularly interested in the decision-making processes at the top.

"What exactly was informing their moves, who were they speaking to, how was communication between all these various committees, because we're all very familiar with NPHET, but NPHET has at least 11 sub-groups and groups within the HSE.

"So we want to find out how these groups were communicating, and what impact that had not he capacity of the health service to respond to an evolving pandemic situation."

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