There is shock in Laois as a local lockdown comes into effect today with just five cases of Covid-19 reported in the county yesterday evening.
98 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic yesterday, 35 of which were located in Kildare and 26 in Offaly.
However, all three of the counties have been put into a partial lockdown to stop the surge in Covid-19 cases in the region.
It comes as in the last two weeks, there have been 226 confirmed cases across the three midlands counties.
Some Twitter users have expressed outrage that though Dublin and Laois reported the same number of new cases yesterday, a similar lockdown has not been put in place for the capital.
5 new cases in Laois
5 new cases in Dublin
let’s lock down laois who have had 1% of all cases in the country
— rachel (@racheleustace) August 7, 2020
For the next fortnight, people living within the region must stay within their own county, while the rest of the country, including Dublin, will remain in Phase Three of reopening.
Pubs and restaurants in the affected areas must close apart from takeaways, while shops and childcare facilities will remain open with strict social distancing guidelines.
A local Laois reporter said there was “surprise and shock in the county when the figures were announced,” as people in Laois had been “bracing themselves for an unprecedented increase in the county’s Covid-19 cases.”
The reveal of five new cases was not the surge expected by locals, some of whom are questioning why the county has been included in the three-county lockdown.
Currently, Laois has 1.2 per cent of all confirmed Covid-19 cases nationally, while Kildare has 6.4 per cent and Offaly has 2 per cent.
However, cases in Laois have risen sharply in recent weeks, seeing a sudden rise of 59 cases since the close of July.
The sudden surge is mainly associated with outbreaks in Direct Provision Centre in the county.