Organisation Anticonvulsant Syndrome
As the emergence of Coronavirus in Ireland continues, we are receving queries from people with Fetal Valproate Syndrome (FVS) / Fetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder (FVSD) and their families about what the virus may mean for them.
However from the outset, OACS Ireland believe that we have a social obligation to ask every one of our members, supporters and volunteers to please ensure that you are getting general information about Coronavirus from the correct channels – i.e, via the Department of Health and the HSE. Since the first case of Coronavirus was reported, we have seen the circulation of fake news on social media, bogus whatsapp messages and various different theories on how best to treat & prevent the spread of the virus. All of this flies in the face of the outstanding work that is being doing by doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals who are battling against this virus on a daily basis. We would therefore plead with you to ensure you are following the correct channels and not to circulate any of the messaging mentioned above that is being circulated. Every person across the country has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID19 and this is one way you can help. There is already significant concern and worry in households across the country which is not being helped by the circulation of these messages.
The government has stated that everyone should stay at home until 12 April 2020 except for the following situations a update will be announced on said date.
The information from the World Health Organisation – WHO – COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus introduced to humans for the first time. It is spread from person to person mainly through the droplets produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes. Watch this short animation to learn more about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself against it.
The World Health Organisation YouTube Video:
COVID-19 Information and Government (Links)
Government Departments and Agencies (Links)
Employee and Employer (Links)
Social Welfare (Link)
Travel and Irish Abroad (Link)
Who CANNOT claim the Pandemic Unemployment Payment? Answer: According to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, “Do not claim the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if your employer has not laid you off OR if you were not previously in employment OR if you are still in receipt of employment income OR if your employer takes you back onto their payroll.” More information available at the following link: People who cannot claim the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment March 27, 2020.
Denied COVID-19 benefit: All employees who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. OACS Ireland recommends that you submit the required form which you can find at Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment March 26, 2020.
Illness Benefit: I am on Illness Benefit of €203 for many years now. I presume that people such as me will not get an increase. Am I correct in thinking that? Answer: You are not eligible because you have not lost your job due to Covid-19. According to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, “When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or the HSE or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €350 per week.” The full details are available at Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences March 26, 2020.
NCT Centres: Currently, all NCT Centers are closed. According to the NCTS website, “We are taking these measures in line with the social distancing guidelines that have been issued by the HSE In line with Government advice, the more vulnerable in society are being asked to contact us on 014135992 to arrange an alternative appointment. As the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to escalate we have put in place the appropriate precautions to ensure we minimise any impact of the virus in our centres.” Full details are available at NCTS Website March 26, 2020.
MARCH 28th: “National Car Testing Service (NCT) is suspended until further notice with immediate effect. This is in order to comply with the new public restrictions to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus.”
Substitute Teacher: I work as a National School teacher, but as a Substitute Teacher (temporary, so don’t receive pay from Dept of Education.) It didn’t make it clear on the form, so do you know if payment is made to Substitute Teachers who have lost work? Answer: There is no reason why this would not be available to you based on previous income and the loss you are now experiencing. According to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, “The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.” The full details are available at Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment March 25, 2020
Part time worker: I work 15 hours per week and have been temporarily laid off. I’m on one parent family and have been told I can’t get help. Answer: If you have been laid off because of Covid-19, then you are eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment which IS available to part-time workers.” The full details are available at The full details are available at Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment March 25, 2020.
Stranded Abroad: This is a real humanitarian issue; we have to ensure everyone gets home safely as soon as possible. The Department of Foreign Affairs details the contact information for a specific country at Irish Embassies and Consulates Abroad March 25, 2020.
Please take the time to carry out the proper preventative measures as outlined below to stay safe:
Please ensure you follow these important steps:
- WASH your hands well & often to avoid contamination.
- COVER your mouth & nose with a tissue or sleeve, when coughing or sneezing and discard used tissue.
- AVOID touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- CLEAN and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
- STOP shaking hands or when saying hello or greeting other people.
- DISTANCE yourself at least 2 metres away from other people, especially those who might be unwell.
OACS Ireland Executive Committee.