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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris and Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority have today launched a campaign on face coverings.

No new deaths in Ireland, and part of India back in lockdown: Today's Covid-19 main points

Here’s what’s happening in Covid-19 news.

LAST UPDATE | 15 Jun 2020

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE this evening confirmed that there have been no new deaths related to Covid-19 in Ireland. 

This is the second day that no new Covid-19-related deaths have been confirmed, with the first being 25 May. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team has also said that a further 18 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, brining the total in this country to 25,321.

Earlier today, a campaign was launched by the caretaker Minister for Health on how and when members of the public should wear face coverings.

They also include advice on how to make a covering at home, how to wash them, and the dos and don’ts.

“Cloth face coverings may help to stop people who are not aware they have the virus from spreading it,” the advice states – but adds that if you have symptoms, you should be self-isolating even if you’re wearing a face covering.

Here are today’s Covid-19 main points: 
  • 18 new Covid-19 cases have been confirmed by health officials this evening. 
  • The HSE is inviting more than 5,000 people to take part in a new antibodies study which aims to measure exposure to Covid-19 across the Irish population.
  • Nursing homes can accept visitors today for the first time since March – with strict rules in place.
  • Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is not keen to make face masks mandatory as some people find them difficult to wear, such as those with breathing difficulties. He said he hopes people will follow the current advice on masks and face coverings. 
  • Varadkar and other officials launched a campaign on face coverings today.
  • Shopping centres are to reopen today, as part of the government’s “accelerated” reopening plan, meaning more people can go back to work.
  • Wage subsidy recipients with mortgage approval are now left uncertain as to whether they can purchase a home.
  • The Department of Employment Affairs issued payments worth €174.6m to 498,700 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) this week. This is a decrease of 18,900 on the number of people paid last week.
  • Two-thirds of men have reported turning to alcohol to combat loneliness and boredom during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey by Drinkaware.
  • There was one death and eight new cases yesterday, bringing the total in Ireland to 1,706 deaths and 25,303 confirmed cases.
  • Dublin City University today launched an oral history project of Covid-19. It will focus on archives of Irish peoples’ experience during the pandemic. People can take part by visiting the project website and recording their response to a number of questions. 
  • The National Treasury Management Agency has published its annual report for 2019 and a mid-year update for 2020. After raising €15 billion in long-term debt for the whole of last year, the agency has already borrowed €18 billion this year to cover the cost of the government’s coronavirus response.
Here are today’s international Covid-19 main points: 
  • Parts of Beijing have gone back into lockdown after the emergence of a new cluster linked to a wholesale food market.
  • India is to reimpose lockdown on 15m people in Chennai, AFP reports. Home to 1.3 billion people, India has been gradually lifting a nationwide lockdown in a bid to get the economy back on track. But new infections have still been rising across the country — particularly in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu. 
  • Spain will re-open its borders to visitors from Europe’s passport-free Schengen travel area on 21 June, the country’s prime minister has announced.

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