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Over 290 cases in Ireland, UK death toll rises to 69: Today's main Covid-19 points

54 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in the Republic yesterday.

Dr Tony Holohan yesterday.
Dr Tony Holohan yesterday.
Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated Mar 17th 2020, 8:00 PM

TODAY, THERE WERE 69 new cases of Covid-19 announced in the Republic of Ireland.

There are now 292 confirmed cases in the Republic. Ten new cases were announced in Northern Ireland today, bringing the total number there to 62.

This means there are 354 confirmed cases on the island of Ireland.

The number of deaths associated with Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland is still two. 

Elsewhere around the world, British prime minister Boris Johnson urged people to avoid non-essential contact and all unnecessary travel. The UK coronavirus death toll has risen to 69, with a further 14 people reported to have died.

Here are today’s main Covid-19 points:

  • There are now 292 coronavirus cases in the Republic. 
  • Dr Tony Holohan said early modelling indicates we should have expect 78 new cases today, 109 cases on Wednesday and a daily number of 355 cases by Sunday. Today’s figures were slightly below the expected.
  • The figure in Northern Ireland has risen by 10 cases to 62 as of today.
  • There are now five hospital sites around the country providing testing, with more expected this week.
  • The government expects around 15,000 cases in Ireland by the end of the month.
  • Emergency legislation will be published by the government today to give it powers including prohibiting some events and mass gatherings, imposing travel restrictions, and detaining and isolating people who are possible sources of Covid-19 if they don’t submit to self-isolation.
  • A massive recruitment drive is set to begin today across the Irish health service. 
  • Retail Excellence Ireland has said that 200,000 workers and their families will be “financially impacted” by the crisis while calling for a string of measures to support people and businesses affected by closures and job cuts.
  • A full-time National Public Order Unit has been deployed by gardaí in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The Mater Hospital has limited visitors to patients in its Intensive Care Unit to only next of kin and one visitor at a time.
  • Donegal TD Thomas Pringle is in isolation over fears that he may have contracted the virus.
  • Ryanair has unchecked in all customers booked for return flights from Spain between 21 and 28 March, and has urged them to apply for a free change of booking. The advice for Irish people remains to leave Spain by Thursday.  
  • Croke Park is to be turned into a Covid-19 testing facility, residents around the stadium have been told.
  • Gardaí have showcased a number of cars it has hired to enforce its fleet of vehicles in the wake of the outbreak.
  • Trinity College Dublin students who are living on campus were ordered to leave their accommodations due to the Covid-19 outbreak. There are “at least” eight confirmed cases in the college. 
  • Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said the “normal” people knew a few weeks ago is “a normal we will not be returning back to”. 
  • Actual St Patrick’s Day parades may have been called off, but virtual Patrick’s Day celebrations are going viral online.
  • Sky has told businesses – such as pubs – that it won’t be charging them for its packages until sport returns to our screens.
  • Ministers in Stormont have agreed to introduce a package of measures in an effort to delay the spread of Covid-19.
  • Guinness has pledged €1.2 million to support bar staff and €300,000 to elderly vulnerable people through a partnership with ALONE. 
  • One of the North’s biggest sporting events – the North West 200 – has been cancelled while museums across the jurisdiction will be closed to the public from tomorrow.
  • Just Eat and Deliveroo have said it will have contactless payments and contactless delivery on its orders from now on to abide by HSE recommendations for social distancing. 
  • Cineworld has said it is closing its cinema in Dublin.
  • Sky is making new movies available to rent the same day that they were supposed to be released in the cinema.

In international coronavirus news:

  • The number of confirmed cases in the UK spiked to 1,950, a jump of 407 in 24 hours. Boris Johnson urged people to stop all non-essential contact and stop all non-essential travel, in a large escalation of the government’s response.
  • The UK death toll has risen to 69, up 14 from yesterday.
  • The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced proposals to introduce a temporary 30-day restriction on non-essential travel to the EU. 
  • Spain said it would close its land borders to halt the spread of Covid-19 from midnight last night. Today, nearly 2,000 new cases were confirmed in the country bringing the total to more than 11,000. 
  • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned Tuesday the country faced recession this year as he announced a €45-billion aid package to help businesses and employees cope.
  • China yesterday reported just one new domestic infection of Covid-19, but found 20 more cases imported from abroad.
  • South Korea has said that it has started using virus testing “phone booths”.
  • Valencia, the first Spanish football club to report coronavirus infections, said yesterday that 35% of players and staff members have tested positive for the disease.
  • The cast of the German version of Big Brother are to be told about the virus this evening.
  • The Polish government is in quarantine after a minister was diagnosed with coronavirus.
  • The deputy head of the Japanese Olympic Committee has also been diagnosed.

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