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Restrictions extended until 5 May, Leaving Cert exams postponed: Today's Covid-19 main points

To date, 263 patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in Ireland have died, with 6,574 confirmed cases.

Gardaí will be patrolling during this Easter weekend.
Gardaí will be patrolling during this Easter weekend.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Updated Apr 10th 2020, 5:00 PM

THE NUMBER OF Covid-19 cases in Ireland is 7,054, with restrictions now extended until 5 May. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced this afternoon that restrictions on public movement and other measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 will remain in place for the next three-and-a-half weeks. 

Concerns are also growing about the economic impact of the pandemic, with the IMF warning that we could face a crisis of the scale of the ‘Great Depression’. 

Last night, EU finance ministers agreed to a €500 billion rescue deal for European countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. 

This morning, finance minister Paschal Donohoe stressed that Ireland would not most likely not need to avail of the most drastic parts of the EU economic package.

Here are today’s Covid-19 main points:

  • This evening, the Department of Health confirmed that a further 25 people have died from Covid-19 and there are 480 new cases of the virus. It brings the number of deaths from the coronavirus in Ireland to 288. There are now 7,054 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.
  • Covid-19 restrictions are to remain in place until Tuesday 5 May.
  • The Leaving Certificate has been postponed until late July or August because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Junior Cert has been cancelled this year and will be replaced with school-based tests later in the year.
  • The number of people with coronavirus who have died in a hospital setting in Northern Ireland has risen to 92, with 10 further deaths reported today. There were 112 new cases of the virus, bringing the total of confirmed positive tests in the province since the outbreak began to 1,589.
  • Ireland’s coronavirus restrictions are set to be extended, but Dr Cillian De Gascun of the National Virus Reference Laboratory suggested that some measures could be eased in the coming weeks. 
  • The Policing Authority has said that it is overseeing new gardaí powers to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak and enforce restrictions. In a statement this morning, the authority said that it was in regular contact with the Garda Commissioner to ensure that policing and the use of the new powers was “necessary, proportionate and carried out in a manner that respects human rights”.
  • A Condition Orange Fire warning has been issued by the Department of Agriculture – it’s in place until 14 April. Officials are warning against setting fires during a time when emergency services are already under pressure. 
  • Gardaí have found around 20,000 unstamped cigarettes  when they stopped a car at a Covid-19 checkpoint in Co Mayo.
  • The Courts Service will increase the number of remote hearings it holds via video link in the coming weeks. 
  • Health officials have said that the measures put in place in recent weeks to tackle Covid-19 are having a “very profound effect” on the transmission of the virus. 
  • Student radiographers are calling on the government to pay them for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • Gardaí are investigating the source of threatening posters that were apparently displayed at different locations in a popular west Clare resort town.
  • Inclusion Ireland is calling on the government to do more to protect people with intellectual disabilities and their families during this crisis. It said that staff in residential services need access to PPE. 
  • A new campaign is set to be launched to raise awareness of the support available for victims of domestic abuse during the pandemic. 
  • The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) has urged the public to be particularly mindful of fire safety in the home, particularly as households are being asked to ‘shine a light’ this Saturday.
  • In the North, the PSNI launched a dedicated web page for members of the public to report instances where social distancing is not being adhered to.
  • FraudSMART, the fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), is alerting Irish SMEs to the increased risk of Covid-19 invoice-related scams following serious warnings from Europol about fraudulent new supplier websites and domain names coming online.

Here are today’s Covid-19 main international points:  

  • UK prime minister Boris Johnson appears to be on the road to recovery after leaving intensive care. This afternoon, the NHS confirmed another 866 deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK.
  • Spain’s daily death toll has fallen to its lowest since 24 March. The coronavirus has claimed at least 15,843 lives in Spain and has officially infected 152,446 people, but both the rate of contagion and mortality are dropping, official health ministry data showed on Friday. The 605 new deaths recorded overnight were the lowest increase since 24 March.
  • EU finance ministers have agreed to a €500 billion rescue deal for European countries hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic, but put aside demands from Italy and France for pooled borrowing.
  • Drugs used to treat other illnesses could be an affordable, “very cheap” way to treat patients with Covid-19 until a vaccine is developed, according to a study published yesterday. 
  • A 101-year-old man has returned home after being treated at a hospital in England for the coronavirus.

After days of division and concerns about the future of the EU, finance ministers across the continent agreed to an economic rescue package in response to Covid-19. 

The breakthrough came after the Netherlands softened its position on the crucial question of making countries in need commit to economic reform and outside oversight in return for assistance.

“Europe has decided and is ready to meet the gravity of the crisis,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire tweeted after the talks.

Germany, the EU’s most powerful member, has refused a pooled debt proposal and ministers agreed only to “explore” the idea under the direction of EU leaders, who are set to meet later in the month.

Like Ireland, other European countries are also issuing warnings people to not to breach restrictions during the Easter weekend. 

In the UK, ministers have urged people not to “ruin” the UK’s progress on coronavirus by flouting lockdown laws. 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputising for Johnson, warned that it was still too soon for ministers to begin lifting the strict social distancing rules introduced last month.

“After all the sacrifices so many people have made, let’s not ruin it now,” he said at the daily Downing Street press conference.

“We mustn’t give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people and hurt our country.”

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