THE LOCALISED LOCKDOWN in Co. Kildare is to continue as coronavirus case numbers in the area are still too high.
Acting chief medical officer Dr. Ronan Glynn told reporters on Thursday evening that Covid-19 cases hadn't stabilised sufficiently to allow for lockdown restrictions to be eased early.
On August 7, local lockdowns were enforced in the counties of Kildare, Laois and Offaly. But the latter two counties had their restrictions lifted last week.
Kildare meanwhile will remain in lockdown until September 6 at the earliest.
Speaking at the Department of Health, Glynn said that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) spoke about the situation in Kildare and decided that the right decision was to keep lockdown enforced.
"In relation to Kildare, we did meet today and unfortunately although the situation seems to be improving and stabilising, it hasn’t improved or stabilised to the extent that we would need," he said.
"It still has the highest 14-day incidence in the country, it still has the highest 7-day incidence in the country. So we will continue to monitor it very closely.
"We're very very conscious of the effect that the measures are having on the people there but at this point it’s too early to relax the measures," he added.
"But on the positive side I suppose what I would say is that, over the past week about just about 10% of cases in Kildare are community transmission, which again highlights that the measures that are there, albeit tough, are having precisely the effect we would want. Which is to limit and prevent onward spread. "
It was noted that the restrictions in Kildare are in fact working, and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly admitted that if they could be lifted early, they would be.
However Dr Glynn dashed these hopes by insisting that current regulations will remain in place until next weekend at the very earliest.
"We said last week that we'll keep it under review and we will. But for now, the planned recommendation and release of those measures is for Sunday week, but we will keep the situation under review, it’s a dynamic situation."