Warning of Covid-19 related frauds as over-70s told stay indoors even if they're fit and active

Warning of Covid-19 related frauds as over-70s told stay indoors even if they're fit and active
Deputy Assistant Secretary-General at the Department of Taoiseach, Elizabeth Canavan speaking in Government Buildings. Picture: PA

Over-70s must stay indoors even if they are fit and active, the Assistant Secretary-General at the Department of the Taoiseach has said.

Speaking at a Government briefing in Dublin on Wednesday, Liz Canavan said: “We know many people over 70 are fit, well and active. Nevertheless the chief medical officer’s advice is that you should stay at home.

"We appreciate how frustrating this is but the reason the CMO [Chief Medical Officer] has made that recommendation is based on what we know about the impact of the disease.”

Ms Canavan also warned of an increase in Covid-19 related frauds and scams.

“We’re anticipating that fraudsters may attempt to pose as Government, banks or other organisations to ask for financial details to process payments,” she said.

“Don’t be rushed, take your time to do relevant checks and always support immediate suspicious activity to banks or gardai.”

She said as today is April Fools’ Day people should only heed messages and advice from official sources.

Remember, if it is true, you’ll hear it here.

It was also announced that SNAs are to be re-deployed across the rest of the public sector to help frontline staff dealing with coronavirus.

Staff not required for education or research purposes will be available for reassignment elsewhere.

A process has been set up through the PublicJobs.ie website to put this in place.

There are around 16,000 special needs assistants in Ireland, but it is expected the number reassigned will be much smaller.

Meanwhile, Ms Canavan said a number of applications for the pandemic unemployment payment “have not progressed to payment due to missing or incorrect information”.

Ms Canavan added that a new podcast to help young people cope with anxiety is being launched during the Covid-19 emergency.

She said: “Understandably, the risks and reality of the global pandemic have probably been at the forefront of everyone’s mind. For that reason, it’s particularly important to take the necessary steps to look out for our mental health at this time.

“We’re very conscious that parents, children, young people may be anxious about the disease and about the disruption to their own routine, even school and all the other activities, they’d like to be involved in.

“No age group is immune to the stress caused by this crisis.

“So in order to address this fear and anxiety in young people in particular, a podcast has been created with the systems of the National Education Psychology Service (NEPS) which offers a series of relaxation techniques, specifically designed to help young people cope with that anxiety, and that’s available via SoundCloud.”

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

More on this topic

Billy Lawless: A Former Emigrant Senator's MusingsBilly Lawless: A Former Emigrant Senator's Musings

Police interview witness over Dominic Cummings’ alleged lockdown breachPolice interview witness over Dominic Cummings’ alleged lockdown breach

Experts call to ‘crush’ Covid-19 with all-island restrictionsExperts call to ‘crush’ Covid-19 with all-island restrictions

Pointing finger of blame on nursing home outbreaks unhelpful, says HolohanPointing finger of blame on nursing home outbreaks unhelpful, says Holohan