Coronavirus masks

Coronavirus crisis: Republic of Ireland announces lockdown

43 confirmed cases

Ireland has gone into full lockdown after seeing its first death from the deadly coronavirus.

Colleges, schools, child care centres and public offices are among the facilities closing their doors in a bid to combat the spread of the flu-like virus, the Republic of Ireland’s Taoiseach announced on Thursday (March 12).

Leo Varadkar
Irish PM Leo Varadkar has put the country on lockdown (Credit: Dutch Press Photo/Cover Images)

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Speaking from Washington D.C. in the US, Leo Varadkar confirmed Britain’s neighbour would be banning indoor gatherings of over 100 people and cancelling outdoor gatherings involving more than 500.

Art galleries, museums and other sites popular with tourists will likewise be affected.

Both the public and businesses need to adopt a “sensible, level-headed and responsible approach,” he said, during what he called a “difficult time”.

You can all play your part.

As reported by The Sun, the Taoiseach said: “School colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow. Wherever possible teaching will be done online or remotely. Cultural institutions will close as well.

“Our advice is that all indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.

“People should seek to reduce social interactions as much as possible. You can all play your part by handwashing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or tissue and seeking medical advice if you develop symptoms.”

Speaking further, he said this simple advice has become “more important than ever”.

On Twitter, people have demanded to know why Britain hasn’t implemented similar measures, given the fact it has seen so many more cases.

One said: “Ireland going on #coronavirus #lockdown with <50 confirmed cases. What is the UK, with around 460 confirmed cases, doing #keepcalmandwashyourhands? We need to #FlattenTheCurve #lockdownworks #lockdownuk.”

Another compared Britain’s response to other countries where more serious measures had been implemented, including Ireland, alongside a humorous video.

A third predicted: “With Ireland having gone under lockdown, UK’s up next.”

Someone else tweeted: “Right so the rest of Europe, including Ireland, is going into lockdown but the UK isn’t? Now I know who I trust more and it certainly isn’t Boris…”

A fifth wrote: “It’s difficult to feel reassured by [the] UK response to #coronavirus when many other countries are taking a much more aggressive approach. Will we regret not acting sooner?”

According to the BBC, Ireland saw its first death from the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday (March 11).

Ireland saw its first death from the outbreak this week (Credit: Cover Images/CTK)

The woman, described as elderly and suffering from an underlying respiratory condition, was being treated for Covid-19 at a hospital in Dublin.

Dr Tony Holohan, Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, said at a press conference that none of the nine new cases recorded in the country yesterday were community related.

He said: “For each of the nine today, we have been able to identify the source of the infection.”

In total, 43 cases have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland (Credit: Cover Images/CTK)

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The total number of coronavirus cases in the Republic of Ireland now stands at 43, compared with 460 in the UK.

Officials confirmed the UK’s eighth death from coronavirus on Wednesday evening, following the deaths of two more patients being treated for the deadly bug – one in Nuneaton, Warwickshire and the other in Dudley, West Midlands.

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