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DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has praised the all our public services for their efforts in fighting to protect life and also urged all political parties to set aside narrow agendas in the face of Covid-19.

Mr Campbell said,

"As we navigate the most serious health crisis the United Kingdom has faced in my lifetime, what is required now is for political leaders to demonstrate their ability to lead, whatever their innermost thoughts and fears. All political parties must show resilience as many in the wider public who are already fearful, look to us for leadership.

This has to be a time for all of us to ensure the minimum loss of life and maximise the degree of public safety. We must do nothing to unnecessarily exacerbate those fears that already exist. Unfortunately at this crucial time there have been occasions when SF have responded with knee jerk reactions, whether demanding immediate school closures when no provision existed for the thousands of vulnerable children to receive free school meal programmes or issuing statements live on the airwaves about what they would do immediately after the interview concluded rather than establishing facts and then proceeding on a firm basis to take any action that may be required.

Over the next few weeks it will be absolutely critical that those of us who have been endorsed at the foundation of our democracy, the ballot box, act sensibly and with foresight regarding what Northern Ireland needs, not just in the eye of the storm in the next few weeks but in the months that follow. Once this immediate crisis has passed we must have an economic base from which to offer people the prospect of a full return to work.

While public health is the absolute priority, and always must be, we need to start planning now for the return to work in the future, not taking politicised decisions which could jeopardize that, as failure to take the right decisions will offer competitors not just a short term advantage but would deliver a massive blow to our economy which could take years for us to recover from.

In the midst of this crisis we are indebted to the unique National Health Service and its staff who are in the frontline. We also commend all the blue light services who are still serving their community even in these difficult circumstances.”