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Coronavirus Ireland Latest Updates: 26 more deaths and 701 new cases confirmed

  • 26 more deaths linked to Covid-19 were confirmed on Sunday evening
  • There are now 1,087 confirmed Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland

  • 701 further cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed bringing the total number of

    confirmed cases in Ireland to 19,262

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26/04/20 Tadgh Brown(10) pictured walking past artist Emma Blake's mural in Tallaght Co Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

26/04/20 Tadgh Brown(10) pictured walking past artist Emma Blake's mural in Tallaght Co Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

26/04/20 Tadgh Brown(10) pictured walking past artist Emma Blake's mural in Tallaght Co Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Independent.ie's live blog is here to keep you informed of what's going on in Ireland and across the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

18:40 23/04/2020

Next wave of US states prepare to reopen as coronavirus could push jobless rate to 16pc

Another wave of US states are preparing to lift coronavirus restrictions this week against the warnings of many public health experts as the White House sees this month's jobless rate hitting 16pc or higher.

Health experts say increased human interaction could spark a new wave of cases of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the highly contagious virus that has already killed more than 54,300 Americans.

Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana and Tennessee will join other states beginning an experiment to reopen economies without the testing and contact-tracing infrastructure health experts say is needed to prevent a resurgence of infections, with lives in the balance.

Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska and South Carolina have already taken steps to restart their economies following a month of government-ordered lockdowns.


17:12 23/04/2020

26 more people die from Covid-19 and 701 new cases confirmed

A further 26 people have died from Covid-19 in Ireland, the National Public Health Emergency Team said this evening.

Of these, 23 were laboratory confirmed. This brings the total number of deaths to 1,087 in Ireland.

Another 701 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total to 19,262 confirmed cases in Ireland.

The latest data, as of midnight, Friday 24th April (18,431 cases), reveals:

  • 57pc are female and 42pc are male
  • the median age of confirmed cases is 49 years
  • 2,576 cases (14pc) have been hospitalised
  • Of those hospitalised, 349 cases have been admitted to ICU
  • 5,064 cases are associated with healthcare workers
  • Dublin has the highest number of cases at 9,224 (50pc of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,110 cases (6pc)
  • Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 63pc, close contact accounts for 33pc, travel abroad accounts for 4pc


16:20 23/04/2020

Cemeteries reopen as NI adjusts lockdown restrictions

Cemeteries have reopened in Northern Ireland in one of the first significant adjustments to lockdown rules.

Stormont ministers authorised the change last week.

Restrictions have been put in place at some graveyards in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.

A one-way system and a cap on numbers was implemented at Derry’s City Cemetery.

Milltown in West Belfast was busy with queues of people waiting to gain access.

Relatives watered plants on graves and tended to plots which have been closed since the introduction of social distancing restrictions last month.

Roselawn and the City Cemetery in Belfast will open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays to allow people to adhere to social distancing rules.

On Friday, the ministerial executive at Stormont agreed to reopen cemeteries following calls from the public and church leaders.

Sinn Fein initially resisted a move which was supported by unionists.

First Minister Arlene Foster said it was about “balancing public health concerns with the basic human need to visit a loved one’s grave”.

The legislation changed on Friday night after the executive discussed the matter during a meeting in Belfast.


15:00 23/04/2020

Chelsea Flower Show goes online with virtual garden tours and plant displays

The Chelsea Flower Show is going online with virtual garden tours, a school gardening club, recreated plant displays and growing tips from experts.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has revealed its plans for the first-ever “virtual” version of its world-famous flower show after the event normally held at Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, was cancelled due to the lockdown.

For the duration of the show, between May 18 and 23, the RHS website will host a range of free content from experts in the gardening world along with exclusive content for the charity’s members.

Each morning, the show will start with a tour from a leading designer, florist or gardening personality of their own private gardens.


14:40 26/04/2020

Contact tracing app could be released ‘within weeks’

A contact tracing app could prevent one Covid-19 infection for every one to two users who download it, according to an expert advising the UK Government.

Professor Christophe Fraser, from Oxford University’s Big Data Institute, said that the traditional way of contact tracing is not quick enough because of how rapidly the virus is passed on.

Academics from the university are advising NHSX, the health service’s digital innovation unit developing the app, which would alert users if they had come into contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid-19.

Prof Fraser told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show that around 60pc of the population would need to download the app – which could be released “within weeks” – to prevent a resurgence of the outbreak.


14:20 26/04/2020

How to wear a protective face mask correctly

Here are the dos and don'ts of wearing a protective mask during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Secure the mask carefully over your face with clean hands or gloves, and do not adjust it during use.

Always dispose of the mask after one use and wash your hands thoroughly.


14:00 26/04/2020

Dentists 'need kickstart package' to overcome coronavirus

A special "kickstart" package to save dentists from the impact of the coronavirus crisis is needed, a representative organisation in Ireland said.

Incomes are down by over 90pc on average during the pandemic as routine dentistry has been prohibited and emergency care cannot be provided in many cases, due to unavailable or overly expensive personal protective equipment, the Irish Dental Association added.

Chief executive Fintan Hourihan said it was disappointing that dentists had not received a level of support similar to that given to the medical and pharmaceutical professions.

"Medics and pharmacists have, quite rightly, been offered extensive support from the Government in order to continue to operate in such challenging circumstances.

"However, dentists have been left utterly isolated."


13:40 23/04/2020

Everton brand Moise Kean’s lockdown partying as ‘unacceptable’

Everton have labelled Moise Kean’s actions “unacceptable” after he flouted coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The striker filmed himself partying at home with guests in a breach of social distancing regulations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kean, who joined from Juventus for a reported £24million last summer, is likely to face disciplinary action.


13:20 26/04/2020

Irish men run full Ironman from home to raise money for the rehabilitation of a local GAA player

Two Irish men ran a full 70.3 Ironman in Dublin yesterday for a local charity after an official event they were due to compete in was cancelled.

Ryan Murphy and Carl Wallace from Co Dublin took on the Ironman Challenge to raise funds for local Support4Drummo Campaign.

The men, both 25, had to adapted to their surroundings after the Ironman they had intended on completing in Marbella, Spain, was cancelled due to Covid-19.

The men took on the challenge in the pavements of their local Dun Laoghaire and Cabinteely instead.

The Support4Drummo campaign is in aid of Cuala player Sean Drummond, who was left seriously injured in an accident last year. Mr Murphy and Mr Wallace decided committed to going ahead with an Ironman to support his rehabilitation.

The 70.3 Ironman challenge is denoted by the distance covered in miles. Usually it includes a 3km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run, but since the pair decided to follow social distancing regulations, they have not got access to a body of water and so replaced that element with another brisk run.


13:00 26/04/2020

HSE boss says plans agreed to ramp up coronavirus testing to 100,000-per-week


HSE boss Paul Reid has said that plans have been agreed to ramp up coronavirus testing to 100,000 tests per week.

It comes as this number of tests is seen as a key factor in the easing of restrictions on everyday life.

His remarks come amid reports that the HSE was concerned about the announcement of the 100,000-a-week target and their capacity to deliver this.

Mr Reid has also warned that the health service will be dealing with coronavirus for "quite a long period of time".



12:40 26/04/2020

Vaccine might not be ready ‘until well into next year’

A coronavirus vaccine might not be ready until later next year, the former deputy chief medical officer for England has said.

Professor Gina Radford said people needed to be “realistic” about the prospect of a vaccine as researchers are having to “start from scratch” to create one.

It comes as the first human trials for a Covid-19 vaccine in the UK began on Thursday at the University of Oxford.


12:20 26/04/2020

Arsenal players to be allowed access to training ground from next week

Arsenal’s players will be allowed to return to train at London Colney from next week while Aston Villa’s squad have agreed a 25 per cent wage deferral as Chelsea decide against a pay cut.

The Gunners’ squad will undertake some light running individually in line with the government’s coronavirus regulations.



12:00 26/04/2020

Co Down athlete runs marathon in his living room after London marathon cancelled

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A Co Down athlete who ran the equivalent of the London Marathon around his living room has paid a price in sore feet (Peter Morrison/PA)

A Co Down athlete who ran the equivalent of the London Marathon around his living room has paid a price in sore feet (Peter Morrison/PA)

A Co Down athlete who ran the equivalent of the London Marathon around his living room has paid a price in sore feet (Peter Morrison/PA)

A Co Down athlete who ran the equivalent of the London Marathon around his living room has paid the price in sore feet.

Col Bignell had been looking forward to travelling to the famous race involving thousands of people.

But the event was postponed until October due to coronavirus restrictions so he decided to do solo laps of his living room with friends and family for support.

That involved going back and forth thousands of times and besides the lost momentum the twisting motion took its toll on his feet.

He said: “It is definitely completely different from doing a normal run.

“The blisters on my feet are crazy.”


11:40 26/04/2020

Hospitals warned of second Covid-19 surge in summer

HSE officials are worried that any lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions next week will result in a second surge of the virus, piling pressure on hospitals across the country.

Hospitals are being warned to expect a second lockdown between May and September by HSE officials planning for the fallout when the restrictions are eased.

This will have an impact on how patients awaiting cancer treatment and routine operations are cared for, with hospitals expected to keep contingencies in place to cope with a sudden surge of coronavirus cases.

There are also serious concerns about the arrival of "a nightmare winter flu" after September, a source told the Sunday Independent.


11:20 26/04/2020

Sarah Caden: Celebs are no contest for lockdown self-obsession

Last week, US breakfast TV show Good Morning America ran an interview with the Duchess of Sussex to promote Elephant, her forthcoming documentary for children.

The Duchess of Sussex. Which one is she again? Oh yeah, Meghan. Remember all that?

In a world where everything, down to visiting your parents and bringing your kids to school, feels like a distant memory, the hullabaloo of Harry and Meghan seems like something from another age. And yet, there is Meghan - in an interview apparently recorded last summer - hoping to attach great importance to her first post-royal-break-up gig.

Continued on Independent.ie...


11:00 26/04/2020

Generation Covid face some troubling challenges ahead - Dr Ciara Kelly

A survey by the National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCPP) has found that almost three-quarters of parents (71pc) are against Education Minister Joe McHugh's plans to attempt to hold the Leaving Cert on July 29. Almost 20,000 parents of sixth-year students gave their view, and almost half those parents stated their reason for opposing the current plan was out of concern for their children's well-being.

They believe it is being adversely affected by the postponement of the State exam and the proposal that students will physically sit it in exam halls around the country.

It's extraordinary that any government department would plough ahead with a plan that most parents feel is harming their children.

And these parents are correct - the minister's plan is inherently unfair and, indeed, possibly unworkable.

There are many pressing issues to deal with during this pandemic and some may argue that the Leaving Cert is not one of them. But we can do the right thing or the wrong thing by these kids. I have no idea whose best interest the current plan is in - but it certainly isn't in theirs.


10:40 26/04/2020

Face masks are key to halting coronavirus and helping us leave lockdown

Remember the phrase, ''Say it don't spray it?'' Well, sadly it doesn't apply to Covid-19. Three important studies have just been published that say everyone should wear a simple cotton facemask when they go out, especially when they go to supermarkets or on public transport.

Very importantly, not a surgical facemask - our healthcare workers need those. Cotton masks have been shown to decrease transmission of viruses by 36 fold. That's a lot. The evidence is now so strong, the Irish Government should secure a supply (as the South Korean government did) and a law should be passed to ensure compliance.

Just like there are laws about drink-driving, crash helmets on motorbikes and seat belts in cars. Face masks save lives and ultimately help us escape the lockdown.


10:20 26/04/2020

Boris Johnson returns to Downing Street amid calls to ease coronavirus lockdown

Boris Johnson is set to take charge of the Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak when he returns to Downing Street on Monday after recovering from the disease.

The UK Prime Minister was said to be “raring to go” after spending the past two weeks recuperating at his official country residence Chequers.

It followed a week in St Thomas’ Hospital – including three nights in intensive care after his condition dramatically deteriorated.

He returns to No 10 amid growing pressure from senior Conservatives to begin easing lockdown and growing dismay at the damage it is causing to the economy.


09:40 26/04/2020

The Covid-19 response could be more deadly than virus - Eilis O'Hanlon

As the number of those who have died from Covid-19 in Ireland rises above 1,000, the revised daily death toll has become a regular, grim feature of the news, like the ISEQ index, except that these are figures everybody can understand. How might we see the world differently if the number of those who normally die each day was broadcast nightly as a matter of course, rather than just at a time of national emergency?

Around 30,000 people in the country die every year, which is approximately 630 people a week, or 90 every day, each one of them an individual with concentric circles of family and friends, all leaving a gap behind which can't be filled.

It might make us more appreciative of life to be reminded how easily it can be taken away. Or maybe it wouldn't. If the coronavirus crisis has highlighted anything, it is how difficult it is for non-experts to properly process raw figures.


09:00 26/04/2020

Church of England launches dial-in worship service

The Church of England has launched a free dial-in worship service to bring prayer to people’s homes while churches are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Daily Hope, which is available from today, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.

The national line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the service has been primarily set up to support Britons, especially the elderly, who are unable to join online church services.


08:20 26/04/2020

Medics inspire confidence but we need to widen range of expert opinion - Dan O'Brien

How lethal is coronavirus? This is the question we ask ourselves every time we buy groceries or stand outside the homes of vulnerable loved ones. It is asked by essential workers as they go to their jobs and will be asked by non-essential workers when restrictions are eased and choices have to be made about returning to work.

It is likely to be a question that dominates our lives for some time to come.

At this stage, the mortality rate of the virus is not known. No country has done enough testing to determine it with accuracy and there are issues around under-counting of deaths in all countries. While it is clear humanity's existence is not threatened by the virus, it is not clear how many more times lethal the virus is compared with the flu.

Given these uncertainties, many of the pronouncements being made about the effects of the disease in different countries are absurd. Much of the breathless reporting from the United States gives the impression that an apocalypse is playing out there.


07:40 26/04/2020

Some nations inch toward reopening as virus deaths rise

Nations around the world are taking divergent paths on when to reopen their economies and communities.

The number of deaths officially attributed to coronavirus topped 200,000 globally, a figure widely believed to understate the actual total.

Millions have lost jobs, with migrant workers and the poor particularly hard hit in many places. Protests have broken out from Berlin to Texas over the restrictions.

India allowed neighbourhood stores to reopen this weekend, though not in the quarantined places that have been hit hardest.

Neighbouring Sri Lanka has reimposed a nationwide lockdown until Monday after partially lifting it.

The Chinese city of of Wuhan, where the pandemic began, said that all major construction projects have resumed as officials push to resume factory production and other economic activity after a two-and-a-half-month lockdown.

In Europe, Spain has joined Italy and France in preparing to loosen restrictions in early May.


07:00 26/04/2020

Clusters of Covid-19 found in homeless and Roma communities

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HIGH RISK: Rough sleepers. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

HIGH RISK: Rough sleepers. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

HIGH RISK: Rough sleepers. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A consultant has called for a targeted testing of vulnerable groups in Dublin's north inner city after clusters of Covid-19 infection were detected in homeless people and in ethnic communities.

Recent testing conducted on 215 people showed that 19pc were positive for the virus.

There was also a high level of infection in one cluster of people from the Roma ethnic group, with 64pc of those tested proving positive for the virus.

Clusters of infection were also identified among those living in extreme poverty in overcrowded accommodation.

Dr Jack Lambert, an infectious diseases consultant at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin, said: "This means we need to target special support for the Roma community in the north Dublin cluster, to make sure they are all tested, treated and isolated, and contact traced, to prevent onward spread.

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