Stressing the urgent need to maintain the highest health standards as Covid-19 makes a vivid presence on our national landscape, Town Mayor, Cllr. Frankie Keena, has called upon the citizens of Athlone and its environs to adhere to national guidelines as authorities attempt to control the spread of the virus.
“When I first mentioned the need for caution against this virus a couple of weeks ago this virus had just arrived in Ireland and now there have been unfortunate deaths and innumerable numbers infected by Covid-19. This is a fluid situation because as each hour passes these figures are going to increase,” Cllr. Keena stated.
The Town Mayor noted the prevalent eerie atmosphere presently enveloping the town as members of the local community remain indoors in fear of the Coronavirus.
“There is an eerie feeling throughout Athlone and the country due to the fact that this virus is spreading so fast and is invisible. As a nation this is unprecedented and frightening. If the infected numbers increase to the level as in other European countries we do not have the medical equipment and beds to fight it. To try and address this, various residential locations are being identified throughout the country as locations to treat patients and these will be rolled out as demand increases, he said.
“What you choose to do today, tomorrow, next week and future months in this country will have an effect on how we delay the spread of coronavirus,” Mayor Keena affirmed.
Cllr. Keena welcomed the stringent measures implemented by the Government to date pertaining to matters Covid-19.
“I welcome the closure measures implanted by the Government curtailing the gathering of large numbers. I also urge people to avoid stockpiling of groceries as their actions are causing difficulties for other people to get some,” Cllr. Keena continued.
The Town Mayor noted the launch of the local authority continuity business plan where priority will be given to essential services.
“The Council will also help the HSE in anyway as required with Athlone Regional Sports Centre, Athlone Library, Castle and Luan Gallery all now closed.
“The fact that our Defence Force members are been deployed to assist the HSE and Gardai have launched their plan of action to also give assistance clearly shows that further stringent actions will be rolled out over the coming times,” Cllr. Keena added.
The Town Mayor enthused with regard to the prevailing community spirit which has evolved during such surreal circumstances.
“On a positive note I have to say that I am receiving large numbers of phone calls from members of the public and indeed various organisations offering their help and support in anyway they can. This is so heartening as it shows the generosity and willingness of our community to help one another.
“Obviously, as it stands any such help has to be carefully considered and structured to avoid spreading the virus. Thus I am creating a database of everyone who contacted me and outlining their capabilities and the way they want to help out. This will be forwarded to the emergency response teams as a backup support if needed.
“Finally, I fully understand that we are all feeling worried and concerned with this situation. Please try and focus on the positives such as our immediate and wider families, this beautiful country that we live in and indeed what life has to offer. Turn the negative worried feelings into positive deeds that you can do to help others and at the same time protecting yourselves. I will continue to give updates and please take care,” Mayor Keena concluded.