MICHEAL MARTIN is considering the introduction of localised lockdowns across Ireland following a worrying spike in Covid-19 cases.
The Taoiseach told the Irish Mirror he is looking at a “localised approach” to lockdowns across Ireland.
One possibility could be the introduction of a "midlands lockdown" following a surge in cases across Kildare, Laois and Offaly.
The three counties accounted for 49 of the 69 new cases confirmed in the past 24 hours.
Of the new cases of the novel coronavirus recorded in Ireland, 22 came in Offaly, with 19 reported in Kildare and a further eight in Laois.
Those numbers stood in stark contrast to those recorded in Dublin - Ireland’s most heavily populated city – where just six new cases were found.
The rise in cases follows reports of outbreaks at meat plants and direct provision centres across the three counties.
The good weather and recent bank holiday may have also been a factor in the rise.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn hasurged the people of Kildare, Laois and Offaly to "double down on the basic public health behaviours" like social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing in the wake of the uptick.
“While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region,” he said.
He issued a warning to the elderly living in any of these midlands' black spots, advising anyone aged over 70 in any of the three regions to minimise the number of people they come into contact with.
Dr Glynn also advised any elderly or medically vulnerable people living in the three counties to continue observing a strict two-metre distance from others.
The advice comes as the number of suspected cases recorded in intensive care units across Ireland rose to 14 compared with just three at the start of July.