An asylum seeker at a Direct Provision centre in rural Ireland, where four people have tested positive for Covid-19, has spoken of his safety concerns.

He explained that he and his family were among residents who were recently moved there from Dublin to protect them from the virus.

It has been reported that four people who were staying at the former hotel have been confirmed to have the virus and have transferred to another location.

The resident, who spoke by phone to RTÉ News, is a member of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI).

He said one person developed symptoms and was given space to self-isolate after MASI contacted the Department of Justice, but it was too late as they had already infected others.

The asylum-seeker was moved from a Direct Provision centre in Dublin along with his wife and their young child.

He said he was concerned about safety at the centre because residents share many common areas including lifts, stairs and the dining room.

He added that people can now bring food to their rooms, but must all go down at the same time to collect it.

Residents are being asked to wear a mask when they leave their rooms, but they are being given just one mask each day and must reuse it every time they leave their room.

The man said residents have been told they will be tested for Covid-19 on Tuesday with results coming later in the week.

He has a work permit and had a job in Dublin but has not been able to find work since his family was moved out of the city.

The man said most of the residents who moved there from Dublin have work permits and would like to work.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said that it "cannot comment on the private medical information of any person who is resident in one of our accommodation centres".

Some businesses in the rural town have asked the residents to stay in their accommodation, offering to deliver goods to them, but have been told by gardaí that the residents are allowed to go out. 

The department said in a statement that "residents of Direct Provision centres are subject to the same restrictions and rights as the rest of the population, for example, the right to exercise within a 2km radius, to attend medical appointments or to shop for food or other necessities as set out in Government guidelines".