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Ronan Glynn (file photo)
Ronan Glynn (file photo)
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Acting CMO not commenting amid expectations that restrictions in Kildare may remain in place past Sunday

It’s understood that NPHET recommended that restrictions in Offaly and Laois could be lifted.
Aug 20th 2020, 7:37 PM 44,335 81

THE ACTING CHIEF Medical Officer has said the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has made recommendations on whether to lift a temporary lockdown in three Midlands counties – but said he is not commenting on their specifics.

It’s understood that NPHET, following a meeting this afternoon, recommended to government that restrictions in Offaly and Laois could be lifted as planned this weekend but that restrictions in Kildare should remain in place for a period.

But speaking at tonight’s NPHET briefing at the Department of Health, Dr Ronan Glynn said he would not comment on the recommendations until the government had considered them tomorrow.

Health officials declined to comment on any improvement or decline in the three counties. However Dr Glynn said over the last 14 days 455 cases were reported in Kildare, 81 in Offaly and 41 in Laois.

Residents in Kildare, Laois and Offaly were told two weeks ago that they should not leave their county in a bid to prevent transmission of Covid-19.

People were asked to only undertake essential travel for two weeks, such as to attend medical appointments, for vital family reasons, for farming purposes or to travel to and from work that cannot be done from home. 

The decision was made in response to a significant rise in Covid-19 cases in the three counties. The lockdown is currently due to expire at midnight on Sunday.

A decision on whether to extend the regional lockdown in the counties is expected to be made by the government tomorrow, following Cabinet’s considerations of NPHET’s advice.

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Speaking this evening, Dr Glynn said he recognised the regional measures had been incredibly difficult for people to accept given that it happened so quickly and it was the first local lockdown imposed here.

“It’s clear people all across those three counties have made a very significant effort to comply over the past number of weeks and my message tonight is to say thank you for doing that.

“By doing that you have contributed both to protecting your own communities but you also protected the rest of the country from the worse effects of that large number of cases that we saw.”

He said there is a “significant debt of gratitude” to be paid to people in the three counties. 

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