The head of the HSE has said that the local lockdowns imposed in Kildare, Laois and Offaly are a "call to arms" for the whole of Ireland.
Paul Reid says the recent increase in coronavirus cases shows that everyone needs to be "extremely vigilant" and to adhere to the latest public health advice.
Testing centres have been set up in the towns of Newbridge and Portloaise and Gardaí say that checkpoints have been established across Kildare, Laois, Offaly, and surrounding counties.
In the midlands we have increased our resources in public health, testing & tracing. The testing centres are open the weekend and two new "pop up" centres are in place in Newbridge and Portlaoise. But important that everyone, everywhere remain vigilant, please. @HSELive #Covid19— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) August 8, 2020
Speaking to Newstalk this afternoon, Mr Reid, said that everyone has a part to play when it comes to stopping the spread of Covid-19:
"I totally understand the frustration and anger of the local population.
"The decisions and recommendations by NPHET to government are done on a very precautionary measure - it’s what we are always advised by WHO or ECDC to be proactive and proportionate, and all the actions that we individually take with social-distancing, face coverings, downloading the covid app - all really important at this time."