Coronavirus: pressure on Minister of Finance Conor Murphy after failed order of vital equipment for health workers

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Finance Minister Conor Murphy was criticized on Friday evening after acknowledging that a joint order for vital personal protective equipment (PPE) had not been finalized.

he Sinn Fein was forced to go back several days after promising that a “large” shipment of PPE had been obtained from the Irish government.

However, Mr. Murphy has promised that health workers will get the protective gear they need.

Up to 12 more people have died from coronavirus in Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 48.

In the UK as a whole, the death toll rose by 648, bringing the total to 3,605.

And in the Republic, another 22 people died, bringing the total number of deaths to 120.

As concerns grow over the shortage of front-line workers, it was confirmed on Friday that an order for five million pieces of PPE has been placed with the British government.

Rest assured that this executive will do everything we can to protect our frontline workers and those in their care Conor Murphy

Murphy said a request has also been made to the Irish government for part of their next shipment of PPE from China.

TUV chief Jim Allister accused Murphy of misleading the Assembly about the joint order and said that he should normally be asked to step down.

Stormont leaders presented a united front at a press conference on Friday, led by Health Minister Robin Swann, just hours after Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill accused him of ‘be’ too slow ‘in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Murphy said his department’s efforts to secure a joint order for PPE had been “turned upside down” by larger economic players.

He said the executive is now trying to place a new order with another supplier in China as well as the new order with the British government.

Other measures included a memorandum of understanding with the Irish government on PPE supplies and working with local manufacturers to meet future demand.

“This is a rapidly changing and volatile market,” he said.

“However, rest assured that this executive will do everything we can to protect our frontline workers and those in their charge. “

I think he has shrunk considerably by not even wanting to face the fact that he had misled everyone, including the Assembly Jim Allister

Swann said PPE is a “top priority” for the executive and that he actively pursues international, national and local supply chains.

When asked if he would apologize to health workers for raising hopes for the PPE order, Mr. Murphy said, “I speak to front line people every day, they tell me to keep doing what you are doing … I make absolutely no apologies for acting as quickly as possible to establish these supply lines.

“Measures beyond our control have been replaced by larger economic powers, but we will not give up trying to provide front-line services with the PPE they need. “

Allister told the Belfast Telegraph: “I think he has weakened considerably by not even wanting to face the fact that he had misled everyone, including the Assembly.

“On Tuesday, he told the House that the order was pending and that it was clearly not. “

He said Sinn Fein tried to go into politics with a serious health problem.

“I think that’s why (Conor Murphy) is really looking forward to trying to align with Dublin. It didn’t work but now tonight we know we get the supplies where you expect to get them, “he said. .

When asked if he thought Mr. Murphy should resign, he said, “It is a serious matter to have misled the public and to have created false hopes. In any other system, that would be enough for someone to go. never pays the price. “

Concerns have been expressed about the first batch of personal protective equipment to arrive in Dublin from China with online images showing dresses leaving arms exposed. Mr. Swann warned that he would not accept any inferior material.

Belfast Telegraph

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