Stephen Donnelly posts late night Twitter thread addressing local lockdowns
Many in Laois, Offaly and Kildare are annoyed.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly posted a lengthy Twitter thread in the early hours of Saturday morning, seeking to clarify the government's position on the controversial local lockdowns in Kildare, Offaly and Laois.
The unprecedented measures were announced yesterday, following clusters in the three counties, which have led to a spike in Covid-19 cases over the last week. The restrictions have been met with anger and disappointment from citizens and elected officials in the three counties.
Aa the core justification for the lockdown, Donnelly pointed to cases per 100,000 of population (Ireland = 11, Kildare = 76, Laois = 66, Offaly = 81). He also said that the decision was taken "to move quickly to protect people's health and people's lives in Kildare, Laois & Offaly. To do the same ultimately for the rest of Ireland. To suppress the spread of the virus in the local communities. To protect the local economies."
Donnelly further acknowledged that the public's compliance with safety measures remains high, and the community transmission is low - noting that the "majority of these cases come from clusters in a small number of food factories."
Donnelly further clarified that the measures are already legally in place, as of midnight on Friday, and that they will remain in place until 23 August.
In justifying the immediacy of the measures, Donnelly said: "By everyone limiting their social interactions now, there's a much better chance of avoiding much harder measures we all lived through a few months ago. If we wait until there's a lot of community transmission, it'll be too late."