RTÉ’s new Operation Covid Nation show has received a VERY mixed reaction online

People have branded the new series a "joke"

RTÉ’s plans to film a new show called Operation Covid Nation have been slammed on social media.

Earlier this week, Kathryn Thomas announced that a new spin on Operation Transformation is coming to RTÉ One in April 2020.

Four households will be chosen to appear on the series, and production will install unmanned cameras in each home to see how they’re living day to day amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last night, RTÉ opened applications for the new TV series, and it received a very mixed reaction on Twitter.

One Twitter user commented: “No – this is crass and opportunistic – a pandemic is not entertainment – pull the plug on this obscenity now and put it down to a lapse in judgment.”

Another person tweeted: “600-700 people a day are dying from this in Italy. There are no funerals. People everywhere are terrified this horrible virus will hit their family or friends. This isn’t entertainment. It would do the nation’s mental health better to be distracted. Reconsider this.”

Others questioned whether the show was an “April Fool’s joke”.

Although a lot of people don’t agree with the new series, some have argued that it’s actually a good idea – but agreed that the show’s title should be changed.

Dr. Doireann O’Leary tweeted: “This is getting a lot of flack. It’s actually a good idea and very positive. We need to stay healthy whilst staying at home. With that said – just change the title. Just call it ‘Operation Transformation Home Edition. #stayathome.”

Another Twitter user added: “The actual idea isn’t too bad. Get people exercising who are at home, but to put the name of the actual virus in the title is absolutely ludicrous!! Even Operation Transformation – Lockdown! Who in their right mind thought Covid Nation made sense and was in no way insensitive!”

Speaking to Ray D’Arcy on RTÉ Radio 1 earlier this week, Kathryn said: “We are bringing Operation Transformation back.”

“It’s going to be on screen in mid-April and we’re calling the show Operation Covid Nation and, essentially, this is a conversation that happened between the HSE, RTÉ, VIP production company, myself and the experts on the show.

“It was agreed that it was a good idea for people to have a weekly platform where they could stay connected, see what’s happening in different households, see how different households are coping with the new norm – that’s what we’re trying to do.”

It’s understood each household will be paid an appearance fee for participation, and strict social distancing guidelines will be followed by all production team members to avoid any contact with the household members.