Follow the latest coronavirus news in Ireland and across the world on the Independent.ie live blog.
A decontamination wipe conceived by ordnance officers in the Defence Forces has received funding worth almost €2m from the European Commission to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.
It follows approval for the wipe last week from the United States Food and Drug Administration.
The ground-breaking Anti-Bioagent Wipe (ABwipe) is one of 36 products selected by the European Innovation Council from over 1,400 relevant applications to receive accelerator funding totalling €166m.
By Nancy Lapid, Reuter
Requiring the wearing of masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in areas at the epicenter of the global pandemic may have prevented tens of thousands of infections, a new study suggests.
Mask-wearing is even more important for preventing the virus' spread and the sometimes deadly COVID-19 illness it causes than social distancing and stay-at-home orders, researchers said, in the study published in PNAS: The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
Infection trends shifted dramatically when mask-wearing rules were implemented on April 6 in northern Italy and April 17 in New York City - at the time among the hardest hit areas of the world by the health crisis - the study found.
"This protective measure alone significantly reduced the number of infections, that is, by over 78,000 in Italy from April 6 to May 9 and over 66,000 in New York City from April 17 to May 9," researchers calculated.
When mask-wearing went into effect in New York, the daily new infection rate fell by about 3% per day, researchers said. In the rest of the country, daily new infections continued to increase.
Associated Press Reporters
India's coronavirus caseload has become the fourth-largest in the world, overtaking the UK, by adding 10,956 new cases in another biggest single-day spike.
India's two-month lockdown kept transmissions low but in a large population of 1.3 billion, people remain susceptible and the campaign against the virus is likely to go on for months, said Balram Bhargava, director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
The lockdown was imposed nationwide in late March but has eased since, and is now largely being enforced only in high-risk areas.
The spiking caseload came after India allowed the reopening of shops, shopping centres, factories and religious places.
Subways, schools, colleges and cinemas remain closed nationwide.
The increase reported on Friday raised India's total cases to 297,535, including 8,498 deaths, according to the Health Ministry. The death toll increased 396 in the past 24 hours.
India's number of confirmed cases is behind only the US, Brazil and Russia.
Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai are the worst-hit cities in the country, and Mr Bhargava said urban residents have a greater chance of contracting the virus.
Infections in rural areas have also surged after migrant workers who left cities and towns after they lost jobs returned to their home towns.
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has warned people not to travel abroad for holidays after the government put off a decision on easing international travel restrictions for two weeks.
He should not to travel off the island for tourism and should hold off on booking flights for July.
Currently the government is advising that no non-essential foreign travel take place due to the coronavirus crisis.
Cabinet considered Proposals to lift such restrictions to other EU States as early as the end of the month.
Michael McHugh, PA
Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has written to all councils asking them to temporarily take a flexible and pragmatic planning approach to the use of on-street seating for bars and cafes.
Beer gardens and similar outdoor areas should enjoy special dispensation to accommodate social distancing, she said.
Planning permission will not normally be required for the temporary positioning of chairs and tables on the pavement outside pubs, cafes and similar venues but each case and situation will be considered on its merits, the minister said.
She said: "Businesses and workers across the North are now planning how they can get back to work safely and how they can adjust to the new challenges of Covid-19.
"For many customers, safety will be a big consideration and businesses are having to change the way they serve their customers in our new normal.
"With planning sitting directly in my department, I want to ensure we support councils and assure traders and businesses that there are no planning barriers to temporary changes."
The hospitality industry has been pressing for permission to use more outdoor spaces when its members are allowed to reopen following the coronavirus lockdown.
There are concerns the two-metre social distancing rule could make many businesses unviable.
The Stormont Executive is to consider the matter further next week.
Closed changing rooms, no whistles and no high fives are just some of the measures that will be put in place to reduce virus risk once under 18s sports resumes post-lockdown.
According to new guidance published by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) and the HSE, cloth face coverings must also be worn by coaches, officials, parents, volunteers and spectators.
Water bottles will also have to be labelled with each child’s name, with no sharing allowed and spitting strictly forbidden.
These measures organised sports and summer camps will have to be implemented in summer camps and organised sports for childrens and teenagers under 18.
Sam Olukoya, Associated Press
Governors across Nigeria have declared a state of emergency over rape and other gender-based violence against women and children after officials said rapes have tripled during the country's coronavirus lockdown.
The commitment by governors of all 36 states to impose tougher measures against sex offenders was announced after several days of nationwide protests by women's rights activists and others with the social media hashtag #WeAreTired.
"I know we have always had rape in this country, but with the lockdown of people in homes because of Covid-19, women and children are locked down with their abusers," said the minister of women's affairs, Pauline Tallen.
Officials did not say how many rapes have occurred during the lockdown that was declared in late March for major cities and has since begun to loosen.
Gabija Gataveckaite reports
The coronavirus death toll in Ireland has risen to 1,705 after a further three people have died.
13 new cases have also been confirmed.
In total, there have been 25,250 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
The latest data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Wednesday 10 June (25,237 cases), reveals:
· 57pc are female and 43pc are male
· the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
· 3,275 cases (13pc) have been hospitalised
· Of those hospitalised, 415 cases have been admitted to ICU
· 8,116 cases are associated with healthcare workers
· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 12,172 (48pc of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,533 cases (6pc) and then Kildare with 1,426 cases (6pc)
· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 38pc, close contact accounts for 60pc, travel abroad accounts for 2pc.
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press
Italian premier Giuseppe Conte is being questioned by prosecutors investigating the lack of a coronavirus lockdown of two towns in Lombardy's Bergamo province that turned into some of the hardest-hit areas of the country's outbreak.
Doctors and virologists have said the two-week delay in quarantining Alzano and Nembro allowed the virus to spread in Bergamo, which saw a 571% increase in excess deaths in March compared with the average of the previous five years.
Lead prosecutor Maria Cristina Rota arrived with a team of aides at the premier's office in Rome, Palazzo Chigi.
She is also expected to question the health and interior ministers. In previous days, she has interviewed the head of the Superior Institute of Health.
No one has yet been placed under investigation and it is unclear what, if any, criminal blame will be assigned to public officials for decisions taken or not in the onetime epicentre of Europe's outbreak.
Among other things, the probe is looking into whether it fell to the national government in Rome, or the Lombardy regional authorities, to create a so-called "red zone" around the two towns.
HUNDREDS of shoppers queued outside Penneys in the capital this morning, forcing the popular shop to open at 8.45am.
One female shopper had queued overnight to get into the flagship store on Mary Street, Dublin.
And a queue stretched around the block at Mary Street and O’Connell Street this morning and this afternoon.
Cate McCurry, PA
An intensive care consultant has called for the Government to double the number of ICU beds as the health service grapples with "old infrastructure".
Dr Catherine Motherway said there is still significant work to do in critical care in Ireland, and that plans to improve the system need to be "accelerated".
She told the HSE's briefing on Friday that hospitals need to continue testing every patient coming into the system.
"We still have significant work to do in critical care in Ireland. We have always known and advocated for more beds - we need to double our ICU capacity and we need to do that properly," she said.
"We have old infrastructure in most ICUs. We need an increase in isolation ICU bed capacity and the HSE have been advocating for this for some time and we need to ensure we try and accelerate those plans going forward.
"We need to make sure we continue to test every patient coming into the hospital and ensure we don't mix streams.
"We have a Covid suspect stream and a non-Covid stream. We need to get back to doing as much elective surgery as is possible.
"We know the winter is difficult - it's always difficult in Ireland. We always have an increase in respiratory diseases and in capacity, and we see that in the trolley figures and we see it when we have to cancel elective surgery."
Education Minister Joe McHugh is preparing for all pupils to return to school in September regardless of what social distancing rules that may apply elsewhere in society.
Mr McHugh said that primary pupils would only be able to attend school for one day a week if the two metre social distancing rule is in place at the end of August.
At post-primary, the two metre protocol it would mean a two day week for most pupils.
The minister said sending children back part-time for two or three days a week “is not a runner”.
Reports Gabija Gataveckaite
Crime has reduced "significantly" during coronavirus pandemic, according to An Garda Siochana, with newly released figures showing that reports of thefts from other people have reduced by 62pc.
Reports of threats or attempts of murder, assault and harassments have fallen by 24pc, burglaries by 44pc with 2,000 reported and robberies by 30pc.
Thefts from shop have also reduced by 39pc, with 3,800 of occasions reported.
Theft of cars has fallen by 43pc and bikes by 9pc with in excess of 540 vehicles and 1100 pedal cycles were stolen during March, April and May.
Speaking today Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: "We have maintained our focus on protecting the vulnerable in the current situation. For example, early on we put in place a specific operation to help victims of domestic abuse, as well as encouraging all victims of this crime to report any concerns they have to us."
Crimes Against the Person
• Sexual Offences – 38%
• Attempts/ Threats to Murder, Assaults and Harassments – 24%
• Minor Assault – 30%
• Assault of Obstruction of a Garda/ Official, resisting Arrest + 25%
• Domestic Abuse Related Calls + 25%
• Breaches of Domestic Violence Order Incidents + 10%
• Formal Notifications to TUSLA +18%
Crimes Against Person:
• Burglaries – 44%
• Theft from Shop – 39%
• Theft from Person -62%
• Robberies -30%
• Trespassing + 12%
• Possession of an Article (with intent to burgle, steal, demand) +10%
• Fraud, Deception and Related Offences - 21%
o Account Take Over Frauds +56%
o Phishing/Vishing/Smishing Frauds +45%
o Shopping/Online Auction Fraud +55%
Crimes Against Society
• Controlled Drugs Offences + 10%
• Possession for Sale or Supply + 18%
• Simple Possession (personal use) + 7%
• Weapons and Explosives Offences + 8%.
• Possession of Offensive Weapons (not firearms) + 16%
• Damage to Property crimes - 19%
• Arson (Criminal Damage by Fire) + 9%
• Public Order Offences - 13%
• Drunkenness Offences - 28%
• Public Order Offences (threatening/abusive behaviour etc.) - 6%
The Penneys flagship store on Mary Street had to open almost two hours earlier than expected today due to the sheer numbers queuing to shop with summer clothes top of many people’s priority list.
Gardai and Penneys had early morning consultations and opened the store doors at around 8.30, two hours earlier that expected, in order to process the queue of around 150 people which snaked its way onto Jervis Street and ran the full length of the store and back around onto Parnell Street.
Clearly shoppers can't wait to get through the doors, so how different do the stores look, and how has the Penney's shopping experience changed?
One in five of the 408 patients worst affected by Covid-19 who were admitted to intensive care so far has died, a leading consultant said today.
Dr Catherine Motherway, an intensive care consultant in Limerick extended her sympathy to the bereaved and said she and her colleagues are worried about how hospitals will cope next winter.
The death rate of 20pc is good by international standards, she told a HSE briefing.
Hugh O'Connell and Cormac McQuinn
RESTRICTIONS on travel to other European countries may be a possibility in July under proposals being considered by Cabinet.
Currently the government is advising that no non-essential foreign travel take place due to the coronavirus crisis.
Independent.ie understands that there proposals to lift such restrictions to other EU States as early as the end of the month.
Brides and grooms may soon have extra cause for celebration after chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan revealed his expert team was planning to review weddings.
And hairdressers will also be hoping for good news as Dr Holohan and his team meet next week to discuss pressing issues of public concern arising from the lockdown.
There will be new overall guidance on gatherings, which would allow couples who want to get married to decide on the size of their guest list.
Dr Holohan said they will also examine if hairdressers can reopen for business on June 29 rather than July 20.
And the National Public Health Emergency Team will also look at whether the two-metre physical distancing rule could be reduced to one metre in parts of the hospitality trade.
Ryanair has claimed Covid 19 travel forms visitors arriving in Ireland are obliged to fill out have “no scientific or medical efficacy,” in a letter to Simon Harris.
The airline released the open letter hours have joining rivals British Airways and Easyjet to launch a legal action against the British government’s quarantine policy.
In its open letter to Health Minister Simon Harris, Ryanair called on Government and NPHET to abandon what it said is “Ireland’s useless “form filling” quarantine, which has no scientific or medical efficacy, but is deterring EU visitors coming to Ireland in July and Augusts at a time when most other EU countries are removing restrictions and welcoming tourists.”
A leading travel insurance provider has changed its rules to allow thousands of policyholders to claim for Covid-19 cancellations.
In March, Vhi said it was excluding virus-related claims for those renewing their MultiTrip insurance this year.
But in a major change, it will now allow anyone renewing their cover to claim for a cancelled holiday, as long as it was booked before March 19.
It means someone who had booked a holiday at the start of the year, but renewed their policy in May, will be able to make a claim if the flights and accommodation have been cancelled and they cannot get a refund from the airline or the accommodation provider.
Eighty-eight per cent of Irish healthcare workers with Covid-19 got the virus at work, new figures the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) show.
Out of the 8,018 cases of infected healthcare workers, 2,551 are under investigation without a known source of transmission.
Those cases account for 32 pc of all healthcare worker cases and are not included in the percentages.
The data as of May 30, excluding cases which are unknown/under investigation, show:
The figures were presented to Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, who say they have received a commitment from Health Minister Simon Harris that the figures will now be published weekly.
The INMO is calling for a policy change that will amend regulations to class Covid-19 as a personal injury under health and safety legislation.
The union is also seeking better facilitation for healthcare workers who come into unprotected close contact with Covid-19 to self-isolate for 14 days, and for all healthcare workers to be provided with regular Covid-19 testing.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “One in three COVID-19 cases are healthcare workers. One in ten are nurses. And these figures show the vast majority have caught the virus at work.
“This figure cannot simply be accepted as normal. We need to tighten procedures and test more to ensure that frontline staff don’t get the virus they are fighting."
Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow
The World Health Organisation has suggested that Russia should review the way it counts coronavirus deaths, describing the country's low death toll as "unusual".
The comments by a senior WHO official have again raised suspicions about Russia's death toll, which stands at just over 6,000 and is extremely low compared with other European countries. Russian officials have attributed it to widespread and early testing as well as the demographics.
Irishman Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies programme, said the outbreak in Russia had been following a trajectory similar to European countries, which is why its "low death rate is hard to understand".
He added, however, that WHO officials did not imply there was "systematic" under-reporting in Russia. His remarks have irked many in Moscow.
Irish airports are among Europe's hardest-hit by the pandemic, and a major aviation body has warned their recovery could take until 2023.
The airports have suffered a collapse in passenger numbers of more than 98pc.
And the UK's "blunt instrument" deployment of quarantine as a control measure also threatens to inflict damage the sector will take years to recover from.
While Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have been exempted from the UK's controversial 14-day quarantine demand for all air travellers, Airports Council International (ACI) says it threatens to inflict not just an economic but a social blow to an already reeling industry.
Thermal screening will be used to keep shoppers safe when Kildare Village reopens on Monday.
The designer destination, which features 100 brands including restaurants, will be equipped with thermal scanners at the entrance.
Upon arrival visitors and staff from the shops will have their temperature checked by a thermal camera.
If their temperature is 37.5C and below, they will be given access.
Eilish O'Regan and Cormac McQuinn
Wearing face masks or coverings will not be made mandatory but more people need to use them in shops and on public transport, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has said.
He admitted that clearer "consistent communication" is needed around the wearing of face masks because of the relatively low take-up.
He reiterated that it is just part of a package of measures which needs to include physical distancing, hand-washing and covering coughs and sneezes.
It is now likely that people will be confronted with more signs prompting them to wear a mask or face covering.
Chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan told the most senior officials of Government departments that different approaches to Covid-19 containment on both sides of the Border could "pose threats to us all".
Minutes of senior management meetings from the Department of Justice show how Dr Holohan delivered the warning in a briefing to secretaries general from across Government.
The minutes of the St Patrick's Day meeting said: "The CMO believes the differing responses in the North and the south of the country may pose threats to us all."
As lockdown began, Dr Holohan told the State's most senior officials to expect the situation to "continue for some time" with not enough information available to estimate when cases were likely to peak.
The records - which have been released under Freedom of Information - detail the Department of Justice response to the Covid-19 crisis throughout March, April, and May.