Expert warns two week lockdown of Offaly, Laois and Kildare 'unlikely to be enough'

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Expert warns two week lockdown of three counties 'unlikely to be enough'

Expert warns two week lockdown of three counties 'unlikely to be enough'

An expert has warned that a two week regional lockdown of Offaly, Laois and Kildare is unlikely to be enough to contain the increase in Covid-19 in limited parts of the three counties.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Dr Tomás Ryan, Associate Professor at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in Trinity College, said using regional lockdowns was a way to control COVID-19 outbreaks but suggested the lockdown in the three counties was not severe enough.

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“Extremely severe restrictions in two or three weeks will of course do it, but the restrictions aren’t extremely severe,” he said.

He added that if there were further increases in cases in the impacted areas of the three counties, restrictions might be in place for up to six weeks. 

READ NEXT: Minister says three counties were locked down as people find distance confusing

A far reaching regional lockdown has been in place across the three counties since midnight on Saturday despite some parts of Offaly being more than 100 kilometres from the serious outbreaks in Kildare. Enfield in Meath is just 13 kilometres away from one of the seriously affected facilities but remains open.

READ NEXT: Latest update on confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospitals in Offaly, Laois and Kildare

If there is a further increase in cases in the impacted counties, Dr Ryan said up to six weeks of restrictions might be needed - but it will also be a case of a ‘trade off’ when it comes to the severity of restrictions and the time spent under them.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Dr Ryan described the regional lockdown as regrettable but was adamant that it was better than locking down the entire country again.

He said the ultimate length of the lockdown would depend on the number of positive cases and the level of community transmission.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW ON NEWSTALK BREAKFAST