Covid 19- Latest updates
The latest figures shown last night confirmed that there are 40 new cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Ireland, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 169 . Of the new cases 25 are in the east of the country, 9 are in the west and 6 are in the south.
The main updates today are:
- 40 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team.
- 11 new cases confirmed in Northern Ireland, the total number on the island of Ireland is 214.
- The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 is set to meet again at 2.30pm today.
- GPs can arrange coronavirus tests online from today.
- Health Minister Simon Harris advised that all pubs should close until at least 29 March. Publican groups have said their members should follow the advice.
- Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had earlier suggested that special powers could be sought from the Oireachtas to enforce closures.
- The head of the Restaurants Association of Ireland has called on the government to issue a directive ordering restaurants and cafes to close.
- The government is to establish a temporary refund scheme for employers forced to cease trading as a result of social distancing measures.
- There is concern about Irish holidaymakers in Spain being unable to return home, with an exodus from the country expected in the coming days.
- The HSE has said that a viral message being shared in Ireland about the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs is false.
- Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also urged people to “seek information only from trusted sources”.
- The Intensive Care Society of Ireland has said that while there are currently 500 ventilators available, there is not 500 ventilator beds.
With St Patrick’s day upon us tomorrow the Department of Health are reiterating the importance of social distancing. Speaking about this Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: ” In regard to upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the government is calling on all members of the public not to organise or participate in any parties in private house or other venues which would put other peoples lives at risk.”Everyone is asked to reduce their social contact over this time period. House parties/ COVID-19 parties carry the same risks as being in a pub or club, therefore people should not organise or attend them. The virus is now in our community, it is up to us to limit its spread.”Now is the time for action and to heed the public health advise we will continue to provide.”