Department of Justice says a stringent response is in place to COVID-19 in direct provision centres

The Department of Justice is reassuring the public that a stringent response to COVID-19 has been put in place across all of its direct provision centres.

The statement comes as it was confirmed that four asylum seekers in Caherciveen tested positive for the virus; it’s believed they have been transferred to Cork.

150 people were moved to the former Skellig Star Hotel in Caherciveen in recent weeks.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice has told Radio Kerry News that it is understandable the local community in Caherciveen may have some concerns but it is unable to give specific information about individuals or locations.

It says it wants to reassure that a stringent response to COVID-19 has been put in place across all of its centres and it is closely following the advice of the HSE and the National Public Health Emergency Team.

Residents have been made aware of health guidelines and hand sanitiser is being supplied.

In the event of a person being suspected of having the virus or been confirmed to have it they are moved to a dedicated offsite self-isolation facility, when advised by the HSE.

A HSE healthcare team is available for the duration of their stay until the HSE considers they can return to their centre with no risk to residents or staff.

The Department says it has secured 850 temporary hotel beds to support vulnerable residents, allow for offsite self-isolation and help social distancing.