Local lockdowns ‘will be considered’

The Department of Health say clusters and outbreaks are ‘likely’.

Regionalised lockdowns are among a range of measures being considered by the Department of Health for Northern Ireland if the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise.

It comes after the PHA said they were deploying their Test, Trace and Protect strategy to an identified cluster in the Limavady area.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said any measures taken would depend on circumstances.

”With lockdown restrictions being eased it is likely that we will see clusters and outbreaks of Covid-19,” they said.

“In circumstances where the number of cases continues to increase a range of measures will be considered, including the introduction of local lockdowns if necessary and depending on the circumstances as they arise.”

Ten GAA clubs in north Derry have temporarily suspended activities in response to the identified cluster as a precaution, with Limavady United also opting for a similar strategy.

East Derry MLA, Caoimhe Archibald, said it was important people don’t become alarmed.

“It is concerning that a cluster has been identified, first and foremost for those individuals who are affected,” she said.

”Hopefully no one is suffering from serious symptoms and will recover quickly, but there is a general concern there in the local community and that’s understandable.

”We don’t want people to be alarmed. We have seen the test, trace and isolate system in place and we can see how that is working.

”The cases have been identified and the process is rolling out. That is critical to containing the virus and we see those procedures working effectively.

”It’s a timely reminder to us all that we can’t become complacent, that we do need to remain vigilant and practise public health guidance in terms of social distancing, good hygiene and cough etiquette.“

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