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Covid-19: St Patrick's Festival organisers say emergency health team carrying out risk assessment

The festival is due to start in two weeks.

Image: Niall Carson via PA

THE ORGANISERS OF the Dublin St Patrick’s Festival today said it is waiting on a risk assessment report before making any decisions on potentially postponing or cancelling the event. 

The festival, which is due to take place between 13 March and 17 March, usually features acts from a number of countries. 

The organisers said that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is carrying out its own independent risk assessment and that they will receive their findings in the next week. 

The statement reads: “The direction from the NPHET to all events has been to await this risk assessment in order to determine the next course of action in relation to the staging of events including the St Patrick’s Festival Parade in Dublin on March 17.

“We have underscored the very urgent need for this documentation to be made available to the festival, so that an informed and prompt decision can be made regarding our forthcoming events. We have clarified to the relevant authorities our readiness to respond in whatever way is required of us in the best interests of public safety.”

The organisers added that they “remain firmly committed to ensuring the well-being and safety of our audiences, both domestic and international”.

They said they will continue to engage with their partners, funders and participants in relation to the matter. 

As of today, according to the latest toll from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, there have been more than 82,549 Covid-19 infections and 2,810 deaths worldwide.

According to the most extensive study done so far, the novel coronavirus was benign in 80.9% of cases, “serious” in 13.8% and “critical” in 4.7%. 

Part of the reason Covid-19 been declared a public health emergency is due to the speed at which it has spread compared to other coronaviruses (like Sars and Mers) and the fact that there’s a lot about the disease we still don’t know – including how exactly it’s being transmitted.

The outbreak of the virus has already led to the Ireland vs Italy Six Nations match being called off. 

It had been due to take place at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday week, 7 March. 

Two other games, under 20s Ireland vs Italy game scheduled for 6 March and the women’s Ireland vs Italy game scheduled for 8 March, have also been postponed. 

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