New COVID-19 Response Plan Wil...

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New COVID-19 Response Plan Will Focus On Next Six To Nine Months

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

6:13 PM - 11 Aug 2020



A new plan for tackling the coronavirus in Ireland over the next six to nine months is being drawn up.

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the new plan will focus on keeping the economy as open as possible while keeping community transmission low.

He was speaking after the Cabinet COVID Committee met to discuss the latest outbreaks in the midlands.

Clusters in meat processing plants in Kildare, Laois and Offaly last week led to a new lockdown being imposed on all three counties.

O'Brien's Fine Foods meat factory in Timahoe County Kildare The sign for the town of Timahoe, Kildare, where O’Brien Fine Foods has confirmed that 86 of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, 07-08-2020. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Mr Martin said a weekly testing system will now be established for every meat plant and Direct Provision centre in the country.

“There will be a serial, systemic programme of testing in all meat plants across the country along with Direct Provision Centres,” he said.

"As you know that was particularly successful with nursing homes and that will continue in nursing homes on a regular basis as well.”

He said the system will be rolled out across the three counties initially before its introduction nationwide.

“That programme is particularly important in terms of identifying, contact tracing and isolating any further cases,” he said.

face coverings A Stay Home message on the famous Naas Ball on the N7/M7 motorway in Co Kildare. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach said the new medium-term plan for tackling the virus will include different tactics and will not be based around phases.

“We have opened up, to a considerable degree, our economy and society and obviously, like other countries, there has been an increase in the numbers so we have to plan ahead in terms of potential scenarios that might emerge - but also how we maintain that level of economic activity now over the next six months while protecting people and whilst keeping community transmission low," he said.

“That is the ongoing challenge now in relation to COVID-19 and as different events unfold, there will be different types of response.”

Mr Martin also announced plans to set up supports for businesses affected by the lockdown in Laois, Kildare and Offaly.



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