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Ireland's death toll rises by 14, as new contact-tracing rules kick in: Today's Covid-19 main points

Health officials confirmed last night that another 17 people have died from the virus in the Republic of Ireland.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated Apr 1st 2020, 4:00 PM

HEALTH OFFICIALS THIS evening confirmed a further 212 new cases of coronavirus here and an additional 14 deaths, bringing the total number of people to die from the illness up to 85. 

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 3,447. 

Internationally, US President Donald Trump has warned Americans to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks” amid White House projections of between 100,000 to 240,000 coronavirus deaths in the US even if social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Here are today’s main Covid-19 points:

  • 14 more deaths and a further 325 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland this evening – bringing the total number of deaths here to 85
  • There are now 118 Covid-19 clusters in the Republic, according to new figures
  • Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said there will be delays in Covid-19 tests and results in the coming weeks.
  • Gardaí around the country are urging people to beware of a significant increase in the number of con-artists attempting to use the coronavirus crisis to scam money from unsuspecting members of the public. 
  • Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan is in hospital for tests which are unrelated to coronavirus.
  • Gardaí will also be making calls to victims of who reported domestic abuse in the past under a new initiative to protect families during the pandemic.
  • Several thousand Irish people could return home from Canada in the coming days, as the Irish government warns those on short-term visas to book flights as soon as possible. 
  • The first patients have arrived at Citywest’s self-isolation centre.
  • TheJournal.ie team has debunked another fake WhatsApp doing the rounds. This time it’s a screenshot of a tweet containing a warning from the Taoiseach for members of the public not to use Houseparty. It’s a fake.
  • Another Debunk for the day is a doctored screenshot that claims there will be a ban on alcohol introduced tomorrow. This is also fake.
  • Simon Harris said that contact tracing will now be carried out for those suspected of having Covid-19 under new measures to tackle the virus.
  • Workers at Dublin Bus have been told that they must take annual leave during the Covid-19 crisis, which one TD described as “effectively stealing their annual holidays”.
  • The Justice Department has said that more than 650 new beds have been made available for those in Direct Provision during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • New car registrations for March were down 63% (6,174) when compared to March 2019 (16,687), the Society of the Irish Motor Industry. 
  • Minister for Education Joe McHugh announced a contingency plan for all Special Needs Assistants to be available for a new temporary assignment scheme as part of the Government’s response to Covid-19.
  • Ireland contributed €10 million to UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19, which will help particularly vulnerable countries prepare for the virus.

Here are the main Covid-19 points from abroad:

  • Donald Trump has warned Americans to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks” amid White House projections of between 100,000 to 240,000 coronavirus deaths in the US.
  • The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the US has surged past 4,000, higher than the toll in China. 
  • China’s decision to lock down the city of Wuhan may have prevented more than 700,000 new cases by delaying the spread of the virus, researchers have said.
  • China said it has more than 1,300 asymptomatic coronavirus cases. Health officials also reported the first imported case from abroad in Wuhan.
  • The death toll in Spain has surged over 9,000 after a record 864 deaths in 24 hours.
  • The UK has recorded another 563 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 2,352.
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres has warned that the world faces the most challenging crisis since World War II. 
  • A senior Saudi official has said that Muslims intending to travel to Islam’s holiest sites to perform the hajj should delay making plans this year due to the pandemic.

With reporting by Garreth MacNamee

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