The island’s Emergency Advisory Group has called for it to be a requirement for the Director of Public Health to provide written advice to CoMin before political decisions are made regarding changes to the island’s Covid regs.
Advisory notes from the EAG to CoMin have been released outlining the suggestions made by the group which was setup to provide advice on scientific and legal matters.
In the advice issued on July 29, the EAG has said that it ‘continues to urge CoMIN to include a requirement in the regulations – now and in future regulations’ for Dr Ewart to be asked to provide written advice on all ‘significant’ changes in policy rather than just being consulted.
It added: ‘The EAG recognises that the national Covid response is a matter that ultimately must be a political decision, but the EAG strongly urges CoMIN to ensure clinical and public health guidance is required to be sought in written form on major policy changes. This will provide transparency and a science led approach to decision making while recognising the role of policy makers in the ultimate determination of the national Covid response.’
The issue of formal advice from Dr Ewart was raised in the final Tynwald sitting of this administration when Liberal Vannin leader Lawrie Hooper sought ‘as a matter of urgent public importance’ support to call the Director of Public health to the court to give evidence on her support of the gov’s easing of border regs.
However, that motion controversially failed after it was blocked by MLCs who voted 4-4 and CoMin which led to a 10-9 defeat amongst MHKs.