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Coronavirus Ireland Latest Updates: Social distancing needed for 'prolonged period' as 500 new cases of Covid-19 diagnosed

  • 500 new Covid-19 cases bring the total in the Republic of Ireland to 6,574
  • 28 more deaths brings the nationwide death toll to 263
  • In Northern Ireland, four more people have died from the coronavirus and 138 more have tested positive - their tally now stands at 82 deaths and 1,477 confirmed cases
  • Overall there have been 8,051 cases and 345 related deaths on the island of Ireland
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    08/04/2020 Gardai conduct a COVID-19 checkpoint in Phoenix Park, Dublin this afternoon after they received new powers in the wake of a slippage in the no travel rules...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

    08/04/2020 Gardai conduct a COVID-19 checkpoint in Phoenix Park, Dublin this afternoon after they received new powers in the wake of a slippage in the no travel rules...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

    Colin Keegan

    08/04/2020 Gardai conduct a COVID-19 checkpoint in Phoenix Park, Dublin this afternoon after they received new powers in the wake of a slippage in the no travel rules...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

    Keep informed of these unprecedented times with the latest coronavirus updates on Independent.ie's live blog.


    20:10 09/04/2020

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved out of intensive care, Downing Street confirms

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved from intensive care back to the ward at St Thomas' Hospital, Downing Street has said.

    Speaking earlier, Dominic Raab said he had not spoken to Boris Johnson since taking over his responsibilities, insisting the Prime Minister should focus on his recovery.

    The Foreign Secretary, who is deputising for the PM, added he has "got all the authority I need" to take decisions along with his Cabinet colleagues.


    19:30 08/04/2020

    Pope hails priests and health workers as 'saints next door'

    Pope Francis on Holy Thursday hailed priests and medical staff who tend to the needs of Covid-19 patients as "the saints next door."

    Francis celebrated the Holy Week evening Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, which was kept off limits to the public because of restrictions aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus.

    The same precautions forced the pope to forego a symbolic ritual traditionally observed on the Thursday before Easter – washing the feet of others in a sign of humility.


    19:10 09/04/2020

    Italian survivor (103) prescribes courage and faith as antidotes to Covid-19

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    Ada Zanusso, 103, poses with a nurse at the old people’s home Maria Grazia in Lessona, northern Italy (Giampiero Brisotto/AP)

    Ada Zanusso, 103, poses with a nurse at the old people’s home Maria Grazia in Lessona, northern Italy (Giampiero Brisotto/AP)

    Ada Zanusso, 103, poses with a nurse at the old people’s home Maria Grazia in Lessona, northern Italy (Giampiero Brisotto/AP)

    Covid-19 survivor Ada Zanusso recommends courage and faith to vanquish the illness, the same qualities that have served her well in her nearly 104 years.

    Italy, along with neighbouring France, has Europe’s largest population of what has been dubbed the "super old" — people who are at least 100.

    As the nation with the world’s highest number of Covid-19 deaths, Italy is looking to its super-old survivors for inspiration.

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    A medic at the Elmhurst Hospital Centre in Queens, New York, reacts after stepping outside the emergency room on Saturday. Health workers worldwide have come under intense pressure through the coronavirus outbreak (Mary Altaffer/AP)

    A medic at the Elmhurst Hospital Centre in Queens, New York, reacts after stepping outside the emergency room on Saturday. Health workers worldwide have come under intense pressure through the coronavirus outbreak (Mary Altaffer/AP)

    AP/PA Images

    A medic at the Elmhurst Hospital Centre in Queens, New York, reacts after stepping outside the emergency room on Saturday. Health workers worldwide have come under intense pressure through the coronavirus outbreak (Mary Altaffer/AP)

    "I’m well, I’m well," Ms Zanusso said from the Maria Grazia Residence for the elderly in Lessona, a town in the northern region of Piedmont.

    "I watch TV, read the newspapers."


    18:40 09/04/2020

    Social distancing needed for 'prolonged period of time' to beat Covid-19

    Philip Nolan of Maynooth university who is heading a team modelling the potential spread of the virus here said despite huge improvement the country will have to have social distancing in place “for a prolonged period of time” in order to keep the virus suppressed.

    The number of new cases per day is growing at below 9pc in the last five days but that needs to be at zero.


    18:05 09/04/2020

    RNLI and Irish Coast Guard urges people not to use the sea for exercise or recreation

    The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) and RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) are asking the public not to take part in any water-based activity on or in the sea, while the current national emergency restrictions are in place. Both organisations are highlighting the importance of minimising the risk to Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteer crews, Helicopter crew and other front line emergency services, through being unintentionally exposed to COVID-19.

    RNLI and Coast Guard are confirming that their Search and Rescue services are fully operational.

    Under normal circumstances, many people would be heading to the coast this weekend to enjoy the Easter bank holiday. Given the current COVID-19 outbreak, both organisations are urging everyone to follow Government instructions, which are clear: stay home, protect frontline services and save lives.


    17:50 09/04/2020

    28 further deaths in Republic of Ireland and 500 new Covid-19 cases

    A further 28 patients in Ireland have died after contracting the coronavirus.

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    Farewell: Funeral director Robert Maguire at Mount Jerome, Dublin, where Covid-19 victim John Gallagher was laid to rest on Thursday. Photo: David Conachy

    Farewell: Funeral director Robert Maguire at Mount Jerome, Dublin, where Covid-19 victim John Gallagher was laid to rest on Thursday. Photo: David Conachy

    Farewell: Funeral director Robert Maguire at Mount Jerome, Dublin, where Covid-19 victim John Gallagher was laid to rest on Thursday. Photo: David Conachy

    It brings the total number of deaths associated with Covid-19 here to 345.

    Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, confirmed another 500 cases of the virus in Ireland.

    So far 6,574 people have been confirmed to have Covid-19.

    Of the 28 deaths, 13 male were male and 15 female. 19 had underlying medical conditions.

    It brings the total on the island of Ireland to 8,051 cases and 345 related deaths.


    17:40 09/04/2020

    Astronauts leave virus-plagued Earth for International Space Station

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    In this handout photo released by Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service the Soyuz-2.1A rocket booster with Soyuz MS-16 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, April 9, 2020. The Russian rocket carries U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy, Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. (Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service via AP)

    In this handout photo released by Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service the Soyuz-2.1A rocket booster with Soyuz MS-16 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, April 9, 2020. The Russian rocket carries U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy, Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. (Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service via AP)

    In this handout photo released by Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service the Soyuz-2.1A rocket booster with Soyuz MS-16 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, April 9, 2020. The Russian rocket carries U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy, Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. (Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service via AP)

    Three astronauts have arrived at the International Space Station after departing the virus-plagued Earth with little fanfare and no family members at the launch site to bid them farewell.

    Nasa’s Chris Cassidy and Russians Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner arrived at the orbiting lab in a Soyuz capsule six hours after blasting off from Kazakhstan. They joined two Americans and one Russian who will return to Earth in a week.

    The space station’s newest crew members will remain on board until October, keeping the outpost running until SpaceX launches a pair of Nasa astronauts from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre as early as next month. It will be the first orbital launch of astronauts from the US since Nasa’s space shuttle programme ended in 2011.

    Thursday’s lift-off was low-key even by Russian standards, given the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. Nasa televised the lift-off live as usual, but only a few Russia-based American space agency employees were at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.


    16:55 09/04/2020

    Irish public invited to join celebrities and leaders on Saturday in shining a light in solidarity during Covid-19

    The Irish public are invited to join celebrities and leaders and shine a light on Saturday at 9pm to create a moment of solidarity in our battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

    President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina are set to shine their light from the Áras. Government buildings will light up with a host of national and local public buildings across the island shining their beacon lights, along with Irish embassies and missions around the world.

    People of all ages, are asked to be as creative as they wish - powering their phone torches, flashlights, candles or even Christmas lights, to participate in the initiative from wherever they are.

    The RTE Shine a Light campaign has already secured widespread support from the creative and cultural community with Gabriel Byrne, Sinéad O’Connor, Glen Hansard, Saoirse Ronan, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Paula Meehan and Marie Mullen all joining in the call for this public moment of solidarity.

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    Sinead O'Connor performed new material on RTÉ's Late Late Show

    Sinead O'Connor performed new material on RTÉ's Late Late Show

    Sinead O'Connor performed new material on RTÉ's Late Late Show


    16:47 09/04/2020

    President Higgins appeals to public to stay at home this Easter to protect the vulnerable

    President Michael D Higgins has appealed to the public to stay at home this Easter to protect the most vulnerable in society.

    In a statement addressed to the people of Ireland, Mr Higgins said that while it is tough at a time of celebration, it is imperative that the Irish public continue to follow social distancing regulations.

    His full statement is as follows:

    "Easter, for us Irish, is a time of remembrance, reflection, hope for the future and, for so many, a coming together with those we hold dear.

    "This Easter will be unlike any we can remember. This weekend, we must do things differently.

    "We must show our love for each other, our solidarity with the most vulnerable among us and our support for the thousands of women and men who have been working so hard to provide us with essential services and to keep us safe by staying at home, keeping our distance and supporting each other in ways that do not put anyone at risk.

    "I believe that this is a most fitting tribute to all those who have given so much to Ireland and to the Irish people.

    "This weekend we remember, with appreciation, those who laid the foundations of our republic and all those who are giving witness to the generous ideals of a true republic in their words and deeds during these most challenging times."


    16:20 09/04/2020

    Wexford and Wicklow County Councils close car parks and beaches to combat surge of people visiting holiday homes

    Following consultations between Wexford County Council and An Garda Síochána, it has been necessary to close the following beach car parks in order to comply with physical distancing and the 2km exercising requirements under Covid-19 Regulations

    Wicklow County Council wishes to advise members of the public that facilities will be closed to the public over the Easter weekend and until further notice. The Council urges people to adhere to national restrictions on public movement and to the advice of the HSE in relation to physical distancing and to stay safe.

    The County Wicklow Community Call helpline service continues to operate over the Easter weekend, during the hours of 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Telephone: 1800 868 399 or email covidsupport@wicklowcoco.ie. Trained staff are available to co-ordinate assistance to elderly and vulnerable persons.

    An Garda Síochána will be carrying out strict enforcement in relation to parking and non-compliance in this regard. Wexford and Wicklow County Council both said they very much regrets the necessity of these measures but must act in the interest of public health due to gathering crowds and infringements of physical distancing requirements. The situation will be kept under review.

    Full lists of facilities, car parks and beaches closed can be found on the Councils' respective websites.


    13:50 09/04/2020

    Four further deaths in Northern Ireland and 138 new Covid-19 cases

    A further four patients in Northern Ireland have died after contracting the coronavirus.

    It brings the total number of deaths associated with Covid-19 here to 82.

    The Public Health Agency has confirmed another 138 cases of the virus, the biggest increase in cases per day since the crisis began in Northern Ireland. That coincides with an increase in testing.

    So far 1,477 people have been confirmed to have Covid-19, with 10,203 people tested.


    14:42 09/04/2020

    Debenhams heading into liquidation

    The Irish arm of Debenhams is set to be placed into liquidation, with staff told on Thursday that their jobs are gone.

    The business employs more the 1,500 direct and indirect staff at 11 large department stores across the country.

    The Irish business will shut following the UK parent being placed into administration, a form of insolvency protection.

    It is by far the most high profile company collapse since the onset of Covid-19 which has wiped out the non-food retail trade.


    12:30 09/04/2020

    Health Minister Simon Harris says restrictions will not be lifted tomorrow

    Health Minster Simon Harris has said restrictions put in place to curtail the Covid-19 outbreak will not be lifted tomorrow.

    Dr Tony Holohan and the National Public Health and Emergency team (NPHET) are due to meet tomorrow to discuss when the restrictions could potentially be lifted, Mr Harris said.

    "This kind of decides on the restrictions and how long they want us to continue them for. So let me just to be blunt and honest with people, the restrictions that are in place are not going to be lifted tomorrow.

    "We're going to have to keep at it. What we're hoping to be able to do tomorrow is show people what the journey looks like. We're going to keep at this for another couple of weeks, where does it bring us, what does success look like," Mr Harris told PJ and Jim on Classic Hits this morning.


    11:30 09/04/2020

    Wexford beach car parks shut ahead of Easter weekend

    Wexford County Council has announced the closure of several beach car parks ahead of the Easter weekend.

    The council said the closures are being implemented in order to comply with physical distancing and the 2km exercising requirements outlined by the HSE guidelines.

    Full list of beach car parks closed as follows:

    • Ballymoney Beach Car Park
    • Courtown Leisure Centre Car Park
    • Cahore Beach Car Park
    • Morriscastle Beach Car Park
    • Ballinesker Beach Car Park
    • Curracloe (White Gap) Beach Car Park
    • Culleton’s Gap Beach Car Park
    • St Helen’s Beach Car Park
    • Kilmore Quay Car Parks

    Ferrybank swimming pool car park and the road to Ferrybank quay car park are also closed.

    In a statement issued by Wexford County Council, a spokesperson said: “An Garda Síochána will be carrying out strict enforcement in relation to parking and non-compliances in this regard.

    “Wexford County Council very much regrets the necessity of these measures but the Council must act in the interest of public health due to gathering crowds and infringements of physical distancing requirements. The situation will be kept under review."


    11:20 09/04/2020

    Government Briefing: More than 40,000 employers register with subsidiary scheme

    40,300 employers have registered with the temporary wage subsidiary scheme.

    The cumulative value of payments made under the scheme is 155 million euro.

    Subsidy payments for Good Friday and Easter Monday will not be processed until Tuesday, 14 due to the Easter weekend.

    The scheme will be managed with income tax assessment as normal revenue for all employees. The preliminary end of year statement will show if a person has paid the correct amount of tax and universal social charge for the year.

    Additional tax credits can be claimed by submitting them on the income tax return.

    10:42 09/04/2020

    Number of private nusing homes hit with Covid-19 rises to 100

    The number of private nursing homes hit by the coronavirus has risen to 100.

    Clusters have also been found in 48 hospitals and 37 residential institutions.

    08:35 09/04/2020

    Spikes and hot spots in Japan and India as world looks to flatten Covid-19 curve

    Coronavirus infections are spiking in Japan and creating hot spots in India’s congested cities just as the US and some of the hardest-hit European countries are considering when to start easing restrictions that have helped curb their outbreaks of the disease.

    Japan reported more than 500 new cases for the first time Thursday, a worrisome rise since it has the world’s oldest population and Covid-19 can be especially serious in the elderly.

    Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency, but not a lockdown, in Tokyo and six other prefectures earlier this week.

    Companies in the world’s third-largest economy have been slow to embrace working from home, and many commuters were on Tokyo’s streets as usual.


    07:48 09/04/2020

    Johnnie Walker and Diageo report 50 pc fall in sales

    Johnnie Walker and Guinness owner Diageo has warned that the speed of the shutdown of large parts of its markets across the world is hitting the business even harder.

    Bosses highlighted several areas, including a 50 pc fall in sales across Europe due to pub, bar and restaurant closures, and have scrapped future targets and predictions.


    07:24 09/04/2020

    U2 donates 10 million euro to coronavirus fight in Ireland

    Rock band U2 has donated 10 million euro to support health care workers battling coronavirus in Ireland.

    The money will be used to source and buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff.

    A spokeswoman for the band confirmed the move to the PA news agency.

    RTE has reported the donation is part of an initiative involving Irish aircraft leasing company Avolon, which is working with public and private companies to raise funds to buy tonnes of PPE equipment from China.

    The first consignment arrived at Dublin Airport earlier in the week.


    07:23 09/04/03

    Covid-19 leaves low level of antibodies in patients - research

    Recovered coronavirus patients can have very low levels of antibodies in their system, researchers have found, in a discovery that could hamper the development of immunity tests.

    A team from Fudan University in China analysed blood from 175 patients discharged from the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre and found nearly a third had surprisingly few antibodies.

    In 10 patients, antibodies could not be detected at all, which could also place them at greater risk of a secondary infection.

    "Whether these patients were at high risk of rebound or reinfection should be explored in further studies," the authors wrote in an article on the website Medrxiv.org, an online platform for early research which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

    All of the patients had recently recovered from mild symptoms of the disease and most of those who had low antibody levels were young.

    Levels rose with age, with people aged 60-85 displaying more than three times the number of antibodies as people in the 15-39 age group.

    Online Editors