Latest news updates for March 24th 2020.
Westmeath has the highest number of confirmed cases in the midlands with 21 people diagnosed.
There are 13 people in Offaly with the illness and 8 in Laois.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland has died.
The patient is a male and in the east of the country, with an underlying health condition.
There have now been seven COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 204 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, as at 1pm, Tuesday 24 March.
There are now 1,329 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
The HSE is now working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
To date, 17,992 tests have been carried out in laboratories across the country, as of midnight last night.
Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Sunday 22nd March (965 cases), reveals:
· 55% are male and 45% are female, with 44 clusters involving 243 cases
· the median age of confirmed cases is 45 years
· 277 cases (29%) have been hospitalised
· Of those hospitalised, 36 cases have been admitted to ICU
· 247 cases (26%) are associated with healthcare workers
· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 535, (55% of all cases) followed by Cork with 123 cases (13%)
· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 47%, close contact accounts for 23%, travel abroad accounts for 31%
The National Public Health Emergency Team met last night (Monday 23 March) and this morning (Tuesday 24 March) to review Ireland’s response to COVID-19 preparedness.
The following recommendations were made by the National Public Health Emergency Team and today adopted by Government:
· Ireland has adopted the World Health Organisation case definition for COVID-19; A patient with fever and at least one sign of respiratory disease e.g. cough, shortness of breath.
· Individuals should work from home unless attendance at the workplace is absolutely essential.
· Non-essential retail outlets are to close to members of the public. Essential retail outlets are to implement strict physical distancing measures.
· All sporting events are cancelled, including those behind closed doors.
· All playgrounds and holiday/ caravan parks are closed.
· All organised social indoor or outdoor events of any size are not to take place.
· All cafes and restaurants are to operate on a take-away or delivery basis. Strict physical distancing measures apply to queuing for this service.
· People should not use public transport unless it is absolutely necessary.
A comprehensive list of new measures is available here.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “We are now in the crucial weeks of our response to COVID-19. All actions we take are based on epidemiological evidence and in proportion to our experience on this island.
“As we learn more about this disease, we are prioritising who will be tested. If you are not in a priority group, you might not be tested. However, if you have the symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself.”
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Priority groups for testing include close contacts of a confirmed case with symptoms, healthcare workers with symptoms and people who are vulnerable with symptoms.
“Whether you are tested or not, the advice remains the same; if you have any symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself for 14 days to help stop the spread of this disease. Household contacts of a suspected case should restrict their contacts for 14 days.”
Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said; “14,692 samples have been tested at the NVRL, of which 93% returned negative.
“Ireland is following WHO advice to “test, test, test” and is in the top quartile in terms of number of tests we have performed per capita. This, alongside physical distancing measures and intensive contact tracing, is deemed best practice internationally for dealing with this threat.”
Analysis of public health contact tracing has shown that the average number of close contacts per confirmed case has decreased from 20+ to the region of 5 contacts. This shows that the public is following health advise and actively limiting the amount of people they engage with.
NPHET will meet again on Thursday 26th March, to review Ireland’s ongoing preparedness and response to COVID-19.
18.17 - List of essential shops:
Retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers in non-specialised and specialised stores, retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses, pharmacies/chemists and retailers providing pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical or dispensing services, opticians/optometrists,retail sale of medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores,fuel stations and heating fuel providers,retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (for example, tyre sales and repairs)retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding, laundries and drycleaners,banks, post offices and credit unions,retail sale of safety supply stores (for example, work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment)hardware stores, builders’ merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agricultureretail sale of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses,retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home.
16.54 - Health:
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says we're at an early stage in the illness, but the response from the public so far has been encouraging:
16.41 - Work:
Workers who have lost their job as a result of the coronavirus will now get 350 euro per week.
A Wage Subsidy Scheme will also be put in place aimed at encouraging employers to keep workers on their payroll.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says the scheme will be available to business who have experienced a 25 per cent decline in turnover:
People are being urged to stay at home where possible and only attend work if it is considered essential.
The government's announced another series of measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Ireland.
All non essential retail outlets are to close to the public from midnight tonight.
It's in a bid to allow the health service deal with the expected increase in the number of cases in the coming weeks.
All previous measures announced by the government have been extended to Sunday April 19th.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says people should only head out for essential supplies and other limited reasons:
Groups of four or more people are not to gather unless they are from the same household.
Meanwhile, all organised indoor and outdoor events of any size are not to take place.
Gardai will be ensuring that people obey these measures and also comply with social distancing guidelines.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the new powers afforded to the Gardai will be used sparingly:
The State is to take full control of every private hospital in the country for the duration of the Covid 19 emergency.
Private hospitals will operate as public ones, which the government says will add 2,000 beds and free up nine laboratories to cope with the rising numbers of coronavirus patients.
Health Minister Simon Harris says we can't have a public versus private healthcare system during the crisis:
Breaking News - 16.10 - Taoiseach:
Leo Varadkar is asking people to stay at home and that people should make no unnecessary travel.
The restrictions he announced in Washington are being extended until 19th April.
All non essential retail outlets are to close.
All theatres, clubs, hairdressers etc to shut, hotels to restrict occupancy as much as possible and all cafes and restaurants to be takeaway only.
All sporting events are cancelled.
People should work from home unless their attendance is essential.
Construction sites and factories do not have to be shut but physical distancing can be employed
COVID-19 payment is being raised to €350 per week as will illness benefit with the chance for companies to top that up further.
Companies can benefit from 70% back from the Government if they keep people employed and pay the other 30%.
This will be capped at €38,000 salary a year or €410 a week from the Government.
Private hospitals will work as public hospitals which should add 2,000 beds. They agreed to do that free of charge.
Emergency bill on Thursday will allow former members of the Defence Forces to be re-recruited at the rank they left at.
Health Minister Simon Harris says the Irish people are rising to the challenge.
The Fine Gael leader says this is not a lockdown - he does not want to use that term
Paschal Donohoe says Coronavirus will see an economic crisis like no other where otherwise healthy and viable businesses have been struck down
He also says the €410 income supplement will be tax free and the criteria will be a "minimum 25% decline in turnover or inability to pay employees" that's set down in guidelines.
The social welfare measures announced by the government will cost an estimated €3.7 billion over 12 weeks - they will lapse in the middle of June.
The Finance Minister say that they will need to borrow to fund the measures.
The Taoiseach says the COVID illness benefit will now also apply to family members who have to self isolate because someone in their home gets Coronavirus.
15.48 - Prison:
Prisoners will only be allowed to be visited by one adult per week from tomorrow.
No kissing or handshaking will be allowed during the visit, which will be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.
The Irish Prison Service says a confirmed case of COVID-19 would present significant challenges in terms of controlling the spread of the virus amongst staff and prisoners.
It is now discussing a number of contingency measures with the Department of Justice which would cut the number of people in custody.
15.41 - Banks:
There has been a 400 per cent increase in the number of phonecalls to banks since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.
The Banking and Payments Federation Ireland says an average of 7,000 calls are being made a day from customers about mortgage breaks.
The number of SME's seeking financial support information has doubled per day, exceeding one thousand calls.
While there are around 500 customers a day looking for a payment break or modification.
15.24 - Schools:
President of the ASTI, Deirdre McDonald, has this advice for students at home:
15.08 - UK:
Anyone found breaking the new coronavirus lockdown rules in the UK will get an initial fine of 30 pounds.
But ministers will review that and the punishments could get harsher if people don't listen.
In Scotland, another two people have died after testing positive for Covid-19.
While the ExCel centre in London is going to become a makeshift hospital within the next few days - starting with 500 beds.
14.51 - Bloom:
Bord Bia has postponed this year's Bloom gardening festival in Dublin.
It was due to take place in the Phoenix Park from May 28th to June 1st.
Organisers say they have canceled the event due to the unprecedented threat Covid-19 poses to public health.
14.46 - Business:
94 per cent of Irish businesses expect to see their revenues drop over the next three months due to the coronavirus.
A new survey by Chambers Ireland shows almost three quarters of companies believes their earnings will decline by more than 25 per cent.
They say cashflow and staffing are critical issues at this time.
Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot says it is a worrying time for businesses across the country:
14.32 - Volunteers:
A group of young volunteers is sharing their support for health care workers across the country.
More than 3,000 people take part in Localise Youth Volunteering every year, and while they can't be there in person this year, they've recorded messages of support for frontline workers.
They say everyone needs to play their part during the Covid-19 crisis:
14.25 - Rescue:
People who get lost or suffer minor injuries on the Kerry Mountains over the coming weeks will be asked to rescue themselves.
Kerry Mountain Rescue says the measures are necessary to protect its members but insists it will come to the assistance of anyone seriously injured.
The volunteer group is asking people to stay away from the mountains for now, and stick to lowland paths and walkways.
Colm Burke, PRO for Kerry Mountain Rescue, says there are plenty of other ways to keep active during the coronavirus pandemic:
14.09 - Testing:
The HSE is considering prioritising some patients for coronavirus testing.
Thousands of people are waiting to be tested, which the executive says it regrets.
It admits there's "considerable pressure" on the system including lab capacity and getting enough swabs.
The issue of priority testing will be discussed at tomorrow's meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team.
The advice for anyone with Covid 19 symptoms is to self-isolate, even if they haven't been tested yet.
14.07 - Olympics:
The Olympics have been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The head of the International Olympic Committee and Japan's Prime Minister have agreed the Tokyo Games can't start in July as planned.
They've been pushed back to a date "no later" than next summer to "safeguard the health of athletes".
The Olympic Federation of Ireland has welcomed the decision - and says the focus will now be on making sure Irish athletes are in peak condition for next year's event.
CNN's Will Ripley is in Tokyo - and says it's a huge blow
14.05 - Retail
Retail Excellence Ireland is calling on all grocery stores with multiple departments to close their textiles, clothing and homeware areas.
The business group says these shops should prioritise the sale of food during the coronavirus pandemic.
It says there has been a significant rise in the number of people online shopping in recent days.
REI is asking all shoppers to be patient as delivery is now taking longer than usual.
14.00 - The Corona Challenge:
People are being condemned for taking part in a social media trend of coughing and spitting at others.
The 'Corona Challenge' sees young people film themselves coughing at people and telling them they have coronavirus.
A man and woman reported to gardaí it happened to them while out walking in Co Kildare last Thursday.
Fianna Fáil TD, James Lawless, says it is an evil thing to do:
13.50 - Tesco:
Tesco says its home delivery service is at full capacity at the moment and is asking people to save the service for those who are vulnerable.
Chief operations officer Geoff Byrne says it’s been an incredibly busy few weeks
13.45 - Citizen's Assembly:
The next planned meeting of the Citizens' Assembly has been postponed.
It was due to be held on April 25th and 26th, but has been called off after considering public health advice.
Dates for meetings over the coming months are being kept under ongoing review.
13.40 - Schools:
Schools won't be reopening on March 30th, according to the Minister for Education.
Further restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 will be announced this afternoon.
Minister Joe McHugh says that the main focus of his department now is having the state exams sit as normal on June 3rd.
The Minister says that an official announcement will be made this afternoon:
13.30 - UK:
People in the UK are getting texts from the British government telling them new rules are in force and they must stay at home.
It's after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement last night the UK's effectively in lockdown.
Among the measures in Britain are that people should only go out if work is essential, or for food shopping, or to exercise once a day.
Irish comedian Jarlath Regan lives just north of London - he says there is still some confusion about the UK government's message:
13.20 - Schools:
Schools won't be reopening on April 1st according to the Minister for Education.
It's expected that schools, colleges and creches will remain shut for the next few weeks as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
further restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 will be announced this afternoon.
On the 12th March the Taoiseach announced the closure of schools, colleges, childcare facilities for two weeks.
They were due close until March 29th but the Minister or Education Joe McHughsays that that won't be opening immediately afterwards.
After the leaving cert oral exams were cancelled and students were given full marks, attention now turns to the state exams which are due to begin on the 3rd June.
Minister Joe McHugh says that that the main focus of his department is having the state exams sit as normal starting on June 3rd
General secretary of the TUI John MacGabhann says students should be working on the basis that they will be assessed.
Most colleges are delivering lectures online with decisions on exam dates to be made by each individual institution.
The government is due to officially announce the new measures regarding schools, colleges and childcare facilities at around 3PM this afternoon.
13.12 - Business:
Workers who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus may be able to avail of significant income subsidies from the Government.
It's part of a range of measures being considered by Cabinet today.
A multi-billion euro social welfare package is among the emergency measures being discussed by Ministers today.
It will aim to subsidise the income of people who have lost work because of the Coronavirus, up to around 75 per cent of their income.
Economist Dan O'Brien says the key part of getting through the crisis, is to keep as many businesses intact as possible.
There's also indications that the COVID19 Pandemic Unemployment payment - which is currently 203 euro a week - may be increased.
Fianna Fáil's Social Protection Spokesperson Willie O'Dea says social welfare increases should focus on the self-employed.
Earlier this week, Social Welfare Minister Regina Doherty acknowledged that the payment was not enough and indicated it would be improved.
13.10 - Olympics:
Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe has formally requested a postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
He says a full games will take place in the country before the end of next year.
It's after he held talks with the head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.
13.00 - Virus
A significant new block of restrictions to tackle the Coronavirus will be announced by government later.
Cabinet Ministers have been meeting to sign off on the new measures following advice from the National Health Emergency Team.
Our Political Correspondent Seán Defoe reports
12.20 - Medicines:
Pharmacists are urging people not to panic buy, should further restrictions be implemented to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Medicine distributor and wholesaler United Drug has had to take on more staff and other measures to deal with demand.
Irish Pharmacy Union General Secretary Darragh O'Loughlin says wholesalers struggled to keep up with demand from pharmacies:
11.55 - Restrictions:
A significant new block of restrictions to tackle the Coronavirus will be announced by government later.
Cabinet Ministers have been meeting to sign off on the new measures following advice from the National Health Emergency Team.
Significant new restrictions will be announced by the government later meaning many businesses will close as of tomorrow.
Many shops, cafes, hairdressers and restaurants have already closed - but there will be more instruction on what businesses are deemed non-essential and should close.
Further restrictions on gatherings in public places like parks and beaches will also be announced.
It's expected the measures won't go as far as the UK has - but there will be a significant tightening of movement.
Cabinet is meeting at the moment and we're expecting the full announcement around 3 or 4
Today Starts our 10 Day Strength & Conditioning Family Challenge— Laois Coaching & Games (@GamesLaois) March 24, 2020
Lets get up and active and achieve goals
New Challenge everyday to suit everyone #unLAOISthetalent @CLGLaois pic.twitter.com/dlrY0YKEKw
11.47 - Shops closing:
Carphone Warehouse says its taken the decision today to close its 82 Irish stores.
16 Currys PC World outlets are also shutting because of the coronavirus outbreak.
11.42 - Spain:
The number of people to die with Covid-19 in Spain has risen to more than 2-thousand-600.
That's an increase of more than 500 in a day.
There's a state of emergency in the country, with lockdown measures limiting travel and tourism.
Most airport terminals in Madrid and Barcelona are closing, after a big drop in passengers.
11.37 - Go Fund Me:
One in every two GoFundMe campaigns started in Ireland over the past week has been related to the virus.
More than €20,000 donations have been made, with more than €670,000 raised.
One of the most successful campaigns is 'Feed The Heroes' which is providing free food to frontline healthcare workers.
11.08 - Schools:
Schools are likely to stay closed for longer as part of new government restrictions to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
They were due to reopen next week but it's believed the closure could last a number of weeks.
President of the ASTI, Deirdre McDonald, says secondary school teachers are continuing to teach:
11.00 - Restrictions:
The Health Minister says further restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19 will be announced this afternoon.
The National Public Health Emergency Team met this morning and has made a series of recommendations.
Cabinet Ministers are meeting now to discuss the advice, which is likely to impact on travel and social activity.
Speaking on the way into Government Buildings, Minister Simon Harris says there will also be an update on existing measures, including schools:
Transport Minister Shane Ross says the government will accept the recommendations of the National Public Health Emergency Team:
10.33- Building sites:
A trade union is calling for all construction sites to close immediately.
Unite the Union says social-distancing isn't possible during the Covid-19 emergency.
It claims 150,000 construction workers are in danger of getting the coronavirus - and bringing it back to their families.
0.22 - Government:
Cabinet Ministers are meeting around now to discuss further restrictions on travel and social activity in response to the coronavirus.
The National Public Health Emergency Team met this morning and the Taoiseach and other Ministers have been arriving at government buildings in the past hour to consider the advice of medics.
A multi-billion euro social welfare package and legislation forcing a ban on rent increases and evictions will also be approved by the cabinet.
Our Political Correspondent Seán Defoe says this will be a significant day for the government's response to the Coronavirus:
10.07 - Order of Malta:
The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps has mobilised its volunteers to support the HSE during the Covid-19 crisis.
The Order of Malta is one of the largest providers of first aid and voluntary ambulance services in Ireland, and is listed as a 'Voluntary Emergency Services' resource available to the HSE under the Framework for Major Emergency Management.
Following a call for support from the HSE, the Order of Malta is now beginning to mobilise volunteers and equipment to assist in providing healthcare services to people across the country.
Dentists have called for the closure of all dental practices during the outbreak.
The chief dental officer says there is no evidence to justify denying members of the public dental care as long as they're not symptomatic.
But Karl Cassidy, from the Shelbourne Dental Practice in Dublin, says that's a problem because people don't always display symptoms:
09.43 - Medicines:
An Irish pharmaceutical distribution company has recruited temporary staff to deal with an 'unprecedented' demand for medicines.
United Drug says it has taken several measures to ensure Ireland doesn't run out of medication during the coronavirus crisis.
They include extended shifts in all distribution centres, and the redeployment of some staff.
09.35 - UK:
The British prime minister's ordered people to stay home - and most shops to close - as he stepped up measures to tackle coronavirus.
They amount to an effective lockdown of the UK.
Boris Johnson says police will get powers to enforce the new rules.
Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill, is urging people to follow the latest advice, and stay at home.
The Taoiseach said last week - the island of Ireland should be aligned in the battle against coronavirus - I hope Gov announcement this morning will ensure we are not behind the curve #LockdownNow #Coronavid19— Robert Troy TD (@RobertTroyTD) March 24, 2020
09.21 - Bingo:
The man behind 'balcony bingo' at a flat complex in Ringsend in Dublin, says the event was so popular he organised another game.
Videos of residents playing bingo from their front doors have since gone viral.
Michael says originally it was put on for the children, with Easter eggs as prizes:
09.00 - China:
Wuhan, in China the city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, is beginning to return to normal after two-months in lockdown.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, He Xiangdong says the strict measures imposed across China have paid off:
08.52 - The North:
A third patient died from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland yesterday, with almost 150 confirmed cases in the province.
The North now has stricter rules in place than the Republic, after Boris Johnson ordered a lockdown yesterday.
First Minister Arlene Foster is calling on everyone to act responsibly:
08.41 - Sinn Fein:
Sinn Fein believes all non-essential businesses should close as part of any new restrictions.
The party’s health spokesperson, Louise O’Reilly, says many employees feel exposed in work:
08.31 - Schools and pubs:
Schools, creches and pubs are likely to stay shut for longer under further restrictions to be revealed later to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The cabinet is meeting this morning to discuss the latest advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.
Some parks and playgrounds could shut, while restaurants or shops that can’t adhere to social distancing are also likely to close.
Infectious disease specialist Sam McConkey says tough decisions have to be made:
08.23 - Walkers:
Walkers are being asked to rescue themselves if they have an accident in the Kerry mountains.
Kerry Mountain Rescue Team has announced a range of restrictions because of coronavirus.
If you're seriously injured, or not able to get yourself off a hill, it will attend with the absolute minimum of members.
And helicopter support will only be called if there's a critical injury.
What we have to do now, to protect everyone, is connect socially, disconnect physically. It’s vital that we keep #COVID19 at a distance. Thanks to our generous colleagues in @failte_ireland for creating this campaign on behalf of @HSELive and @roinnslainte #ItsInOurHands pic.twitter.com/P5XvPO4O6b— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) March 24, 2020
08.17 - Spain:
In Spain, soldiers helping to disinfect retirement homes have found elderly patients abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds.
An investigation has been launched while an ice rink in Madrid is to be used as a temporary mortuary for victims of the virus.
08.09 - China:
Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the outbreak of the coronavirus, is slowly getting back to normal.
Authorities in Hubei province announced they are lifting tight travel restrictions from tomorrow, providing people have a clean bill of health.
Irish man living in Wuhan, Michael McGreal, says it's great to be outside again:
08.07 - Tesco:
Tesco says it's home delivery service is 'maxed out' at the moment.
It's looking for people to consider whether they can make it to the shops themselves to free up space for those who can't.
Chief operations officer Geoff Byrne says there's huge demand at the moment:
08.01 - Scotland:
Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, says governments are taking 'essential' action - and she's refusing to 'sugar-coat' what it means:
07.59 - Airport:
Staff at Kerry Airport have taken significant salary cuts and leave because of coronavirus.
The airport says the measures are necessary to ensure the facility can stay open during the crisis.
Ryanair flights from Kerry will stop this week and Aer Lingus Regional Services are operating a reduced flights.
07.51 - UK
Cherelle Roberts' father died alone in a hospital in the UK with no visitors allowed at his bedside after he was diagnosed.
As a nurse, she has this message:
07.49 - Supermacs:
Supermac's will close its 108 restaurants across Ireland from Thursday evening because of coronavirus.
It's become the latest fast-food chain to shut its doors, after McDonald's closed last night.
Subway, Nando’s and Starbucks coffee shops have also closed in the past couple of days.
07.43 - Galway 2020:
Galway 2020 organisers will meet later to discuss the future of the project in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
There have been suggestions the city's position as this year's European Capital of Culture will be postponed until 2021.
A number of events have already been cancelled or delayed due to the current crisis.
Galway Mayor Mike Cubbard says it has been a testing time for the project:
07.39 - WHO:
The total number of global cases of Covid-19 has now topped 350,000 - with more than 15,000 deaths.
Over 100,000 people have so far recovered from the illness.
But the Director General of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Ghebreyesus, says cases are accelerating:
I am very glad to share that the @WHO Health Alert via @WhatsApp has already reached over 10 million users. Thank you for your trust! Together, we can stop #COVID19!https://t.co/DOvuJ3egJ0https://t.co/z5C2W1DOYF— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 24, 2020
07.14 - Health:
The National Public Health Emergency Team's meeting today to consider issuing further advice on restricting public gatherings.
Yesterday the Taoiseach acknowledged more may be needed if people keep ignoring social distancing guidelines.
Two further deaths from Covid-19 were announced last night, bringing the total to six, along with 219 new cases.
As things stand, schools are also due to reopen on Monday.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan says it's something also being considered at today's meeting:
07.01 - Beauty:
Members of the beauty industry have warned clients against inviting therapists into their homes to carry out treatments.
Concerns have been raised about the number of therapists who are offering to do home visits during this period of social distancing.
Most beauty clinics have closed as the country attempts to stop the spread of Covid 19, and they won't reopen until the situation is under control.
Aesthetic nurse and practitioner Kerry Hannaphy says doing a home job is not worth the risk:
06.47 - Teachers:
The Teachers Union of Ireland says it's important students, particularly those sitting state exams, stay focused.
It's General Secretary, John McGabhann, says even if closures are extended, a way will be found for exams to go ahead:
06.31 - Gaisce:
Coronavirus won't cancel this year's Gaisce Awards.
Also known as the President's Award. it;s a self-development programme for young people aged 15-25 that shines a light on the good things that young people do in the community and all that they can achieve.
The programme involves a lot of physical activity, learning new skills and working as a team to achieve goals- all things that are made harder by self isolation.
"Gaise Sa Bhaile" has been launched to help support young people to continue their adventure while trying to stop the spread of covid-19.
CEO of the President's Award Yvonne McKeon says participants can still earn their awards while keeping their distance:
06.22 - Welfare:
Fianna Fail says any social welfare increases should focus on people who're self employed.
The party's social protection spokesperson, Willie O'Dea, says they're some of the most vulnerable during this crisis:
06.00 - UK:
The UK has now entered lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The death toll there has now reached 335- three of which are in Northern Ireland.
Shops selling non-essential goods are being told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together are to be banned.
Police will have the powers to enforce these new rules.
Boris Johnson says the measures could be modified within a month: