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Coronavirus Live Updates: Latest news from Ireland as 22 more deaths and 424 new cases confirmed

  • A total of 424 new coronavirus cases in Ireland brings the total to 4,273

  • A further 22 deaths were reported this evening bringing the total to 120

  • Northern Ireland: 12 deaths were confirmed today with 130 new cases. A total of 48 people have died and 904 have contracted the disease

  • In total, there are now 5,177 cases on the island of Ireland and 168 related deaths

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Joggers pass a sign for a testing centre in Newbridge in Co Kildare as the Covid-19 crisis continues. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Joggers pass a sign for a testing centre in Newbridge in Co Kildare as the Covid-19 crisis continues. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

Joggers pass a sign for a testing centre in Newbridge in Co Kildare as the Covid-19 crisis continues. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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

22:35 03/04/2020

HSE in negotiations about defective PPE delivered from China to 'ensure it doesn't happen again'

Some of the personal protective equipment (PPE) imported into Ireland from China to help fight the coronavirus pandemic has emerged to be defective, according to health officials.

Images posted online show gowns with three-quarter length sleeves, leaving arms exposed.

Health officials have acknowledged supplies in some cases are different to what Irish medics are used to and the HSE is currently in negotiations to ensure more defective equipment is not delivered.

A €200m order has seen 13 flights of PPE arrive in Ireland since Sunday and it is intended to protect doctors and nurses who are braced for a surge in the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals over coming weeks.

Speaking on tonight's Late Late Show, HSE consultant Dr Sarah Doyle called the defects "disappointing".

"It's disappointing particularly when you see the huge effort that everybody has gone to in Aer Lingus but also behind the scenes," she said.

"There is a process in place and it was identified that some of it was defective, so better that than it be used inappropriately. Some is okay, some is what may not be usually used, in Ireland and then some is defective. The HSE is in negotiations about that and ensuring that it doesn't happen again," she said.

22:03 03/04/2020

WATCH: Dubliners host community karaoke, social distancing style

60pc of special needs assistants have already signed up to help out in essential services during the Covid-19 emergency

More than two in three special needs assistants (SNAs ) have already signed up to help out in essential services during the Covid-19 emergency.

Within two days of the announcement that they were being asked to reassign to community-based centres for children with disabilities, 11,000 of the 16,000 SNAs have applied

The SNAs are being asked to make themselves available to free up as many nurses as possible for hospitals and other healthcare settings.

It is part of the wider temporary reassignment of public service workers to essential services during the Covid-19 crisis.

While teachers are expected to continue working, from a distance, during the enforced shut-down of schools, SNAs cannot do their job remotely


19:51 03/04/2020

More than 12,000 arts events cancelled due to Covid-19 crisis

MORE than 12,000 arts events from music and theatre performances to exhibitions have been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

This will lead to a lost audience of 2.4m people by the end of May according to research by the Arts Council.

It was also revealed that 112,000 tickets have already been sold for events that won't now take place.

Arts Council chairman Kevin Rafter revealed the figures as he joined Culture Minister Josepha Madigan to launch measures to support Irish artistic and cultural life during the coronavirus emergency.

Mr Rafter said the research his organisation has carried out on the impact on audiences, employment and finances of arts organisations will help understand how to help the sector respond to the challenging months ahead.

The main measure announced today is a €1m fund for creating artistic work that can be shared on the internet.

The Script announce free concert for healthcare staff

The Script will hold a concert next year free of charge for 13,000 frontline staff and primary care workers, including doctors, nurses, ambulance staff, cleaners and porters.

The concert will take place in Dublin's 3Arena on February 9, 2021 and is open to all frontline workers in Ireland.

In a statement issued this evening, the legendary Irish band thanked frontline staff for their tireless work during the pandemic.

"We've always been huge supporters of those working on the frontline of our health care," the band said.

"They make sacrifices day in and day out, working harder than anyone. Not only to make sure we have access to resources in order for us to continue to live happy and healthy lives, but to also help us and our loved ones through some of the hardest points in our lives."

17:31 03/04/2020

A further 22 lives have been claimed in Ireland, with a further 424 new cases.

There are now a total of 4,273 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Ireland and a total of 120 deaths.

Today's statistics:

  • 18 deaths located in the east, three in the south, one in the west of the country.
  • The patients included 11 females and 11 males.
  • 16 patients were reported as having underlying health conditions
  • Median age of today’s reported deaths is 80
  • The median age of deaths in Ireland is 82.


17:11 03/04/2020

Another 12 patients have died in a day in Northern Ireland after contracting coronavirus

A further 12 patients in Northern Ireland have died after contracting coronavirus.

It is one of the highest number of deaths in a day recorded by the Public Health Agency so far.

Friday's update brought the total number of people who have died in the region with Covid-19 to 48.

The PHA also notified 130 new positive cases of infection, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 904.

So far, Belfast has over twice as many positive tests as anywhere else in Northern Ireland, with 272 confirmed so far.

The next highest total is in the Lisburn and Castlereagh council area, 272.

16:04 03/04/2020

Premier League season put on indefinite hold and 'will only return when it is safe to do so'

The Premier League has announced that they have put the current season on indefinite hold and will only attempt to restart games 'when it is safe and appropriate to do so' amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

At their latest video conference meeting on Friday morning, Premier League chiefs and club officials ruled out any prospect of games returning in the opening week of May as they again made their intentions clear to try and find a way to finish the current campaign.

"It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so," they said in a statement.

"The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time.

David Chance: Poorest are most at risk as State faces greatest economic crisis

The damage wrought by coronavirus on the economy will run far deeper if lockdowns last more than three months, the Central Bank starkly warns today.

Estimates of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak are out of date almost as soon as they are published.

Just last week, the Economic and Social Research Institute estimated 300,000 would lose their jobs by the end of June, a number that was surpassed in a week.


15:22 03/04/2020

Donohoe admits there's a 'gap' in wage subsidy scheme for low paid workers

PASCHAL Donohoe has admitted there's a "gap" in the coronavirus wage subsidy scheme that sees some workers worse off if they're kept on by their employers.

Some workers would get greater financial support if they're made unemployed because they would get the €350-a-week Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Mr Donohoe said the wage subsidy scheme was set up quickly and there was always going to be anomalies but he promised the government is looking at the issue.

The temporary wage subsidy scheme is intended to help employers retain staff on their books for the duration of the crisis by paying a subsidy equal to up to 70pc of an employee's take home pay, up to €410 a week.

Fears over quality of personal protective equipment delivered to Ireland from China

Concerns about the quality of some personal protective equipment (PPE) imported into Ireland from China amid the coronavirus pandemic have emerged across the country.

Images posted online show gowns with three-quarter length sleeves, leaving arms exposed.

Health officials have acknowledged supplies in some cases are different to what Irish medics are used to.

They are attempting to source additional equipment.

A €200m order has seen ten flights of PPE arrive in Ireland since Sunday.

Schools to donate surplus science lab stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health services

Second-level schools are to donate their surplus science lab stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health services

National Association Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) director Clive Byrne said that “at this time of national crisis, when our medical professionals are putting themselves on the frontline to battle Covid-19, everyone must do their part to help where they can.”

According to the NAPD, significant stocks of PPE currently lie unused in second-level schools across the country and are now set to be made available to teams on the frontline.

The NAPD has issued a circular to its members, asking them to arrange for their school’s supplies of PPE to be transferred to local hospitals and nursing homes

14:06 03/04/2020

Minister signs regulations to assist with prescriptions during COVID-19

Minister for Health Simon Harris has signed two statutory instruments to relieve some of the pressures on our GPs, pharmacists and patients in accessing prescriptions.

This will allow for the electronic transfer of prescriptions to a pharmacy via an approved electronic system: the HSE's Healthmail system.


13:40 03/04/2020

Google releases data to help countries track people’s movement during lockdowns

Google has started releasing location data to help public health officials track how people are responding to lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.

The US tech giant said on Friday that it is publishing aggregated, anonymised data for 131 countries and regions to highlight movement trends over time.

The information is gathered from Google Maps or the search giant’s other services but no personal details, such as an individual’s location, contacts or movement, is disclosed.

Google plans to update the reports regularly, with a lag of two to three days.


11:51 03/04/2020

'Let me know if you need help' - Taoiseach moved by schoolboy's offer

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar was moved by a message from a young boy offering his help during the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr Varadkar shared the special message he received, via postcard, from Jack Ryan (6) in Rochestown in Cork.

The primary school student wrote to the Dublin TD to pay tribute to the leadership he has shown the nation during the virus pandemic.

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A young boy offered the Taoiseach to help tackle the coronavirus

A young boy offered the Taoiseach to help tackle the coronavirus

A young boy offered the Taoiseach to help tackle the coronavirus


11:20 03/04/2020

Tokyo’s Olympic village could be used as coronavirus hospital

The Athletes Village being built for the Tokyo Olympics could be used as a temporary hospital for cornoavirus patients.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has been talking about the possibility of occupying the massive development on Tokyo Bay, which is to house up to 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic athletes and staff during the games.

The complex, which will eventually include 24 buildings, is expected to remain unoccupied with the Olympics delayed for 16 months.

Mr Koike said the Athletes Village was "one of the options, but the village is not finished yet. We are talking about places that are available even today or tomorrow and checking a possibility one by one".


11:02 03/04/2020

Varadkar on recession from Covid-19


10:48 03/04/2020

Formality of deal between Belfast and Dublin for PPE from China questioned

Stormont finance minister Conor Murphy’s deal with the Irish Government to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) from China has been questioned.

Mr Murphy announced last week that a “significant” consignment of PPE had been secured in a joint order between Stormont and the Irish Government.

However, Stormont sources have queried whether any deal between the Irish Government and Northern Ireland executive for the order has been finalised.



10:35 03/04/2020

Ryanair expects ‘minimal if any’ traffic for two months

Ryanair expects to carry “minimal if any” traffic this April and May as the coronavirus pandemic forces its fleet to stay largely grounded.

Both depressed demand and government restrictions have forced Ryanair to stop flying, slashing the number of passengers it carries.

The company said that the number of passengers it carried in March was 48% lower than the same month last year.

It is currently flying less than 20 daily flights, compared to its usual 2,500.


10:00 03/04/2020

Family of boy, 13, who died with Covid-19 can’t attend funeral due to symptoms

Two of the siblings of the 13-year-old boy who died after testing positive for Covid-19 are displaying symptoms of coronavirus so no family members are able to attend his funeral.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton, south London, died alone in hospital in the early hours of Monday.

The teenager will be buried in Brixton on Friday without his family present as his mother and six siblings are forced to self-isolate.


09:25 30/04/2020

FREE NOW offering half price taxis to Ireland's 'healthcare heroes'

Taxi app FREE NOW is offering taxis for half price for all "healthcare heroes" during the Covid-19 crisis.

The e-hailing app, formally known as Mytaxi, has created a new 'medical' booking option which offers a 50pc taxi-fare reduction to "help the travel of healthcare heroes and support medical staff in the national fight against the COVID-19 pandemic".

The new mechanism allows vital healthcare workers to select the new fleet-type option on the app to book their taxi and to get 50pc off their fare. These staff then just need to show their medical ID to drivers at the start of their trip.


08:56 03/04/2020

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine released from US prison as coronavirus precaution

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Daniel Hernandez, known as Tekashi 6ix9ine (AP/Luca Bruno, File)

Daniel Hernandez, known as Tekashi 6ix9ine (AP/Luca Bruno, File)

Daniel Hernandez, known as Tekashi 6ix9ine (AP/Luca Bruno, File)

US rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine has been freed from a New York prison because his asthma puts him in danger of catching coronavirus, US authorities have said.

US district judge Paul Engelmayer ruled on Thursday that the 23-year-old performer, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, can serve the last four months of his two-year prison sentence in home confinement.

The rapper was sentenced in December for his entanglement with a violent US street gang.

But he was spared a much harsher possible sentence because of his decision to become a star witness for prosecutors.


08:45 03/04/2020

Virus deaths and unemployment accelerate across Europe and US as cases pass one million

Worldwide the number of reported infections hit another gloomy milestone — one million, with more than 53,000 deaths, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

But the true numbers are believed to be much higher because of testing shortages, many mild cases that have gone unreported and suspicions that some countries are covering up the extent of their outbreaks.

On Thursday Spain reported a record one-day number of deaths, 950, bringing its overall toll to about 10,000.

Coronavirus deaths have mounted with alarming speed in Spain, Italy and New York, the most lethal hotspot in the United States, as figures show more than one million people around the globe have been infected.


08:35 03/04/2020

Varadkar rejects demands for over-66s who lose jobs to receive €350 payment

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has poured cold water on demands that people aged over 66 who lose jobs due to the coronavirus crisis should get the emergency €350-a-week unemployment payment.

It came after the issue was raised during a sometimes tetchy Dáil session where Fine Gael ministers criticised TDs who wanted the House to meet to discuss the response to the coronavirus emergency.

Health Minister Simon Harris said he accepted points made by Opposition politicians about the importance of the Dáil but claimed TDs were "risking public health" by meeting.


08:30 03/04/2020

Redeployment of carers may leave families without help

Some families will lose much-needed HSE-funded homecare support as hundreds of carers are redeployed to nursing homes struggling to cope with outbreaks of the coronavirus, it has been claimed.

The concerns were raised by Catherine Cox of Family Carers Ireland after it emerged that hundreds of carers who look after people in their homes will be asked to transfer to nursing homes suffering staff shortages.


21:06 02/04/2020

Coronavirus cases worldwide pass one million

Global coronavirus cases have topped one million as the pandemic explodes in the United States and the death toll continues to climb in Italy and Spain, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The virus has killed over 51,000 globally with the largest number of deaths in Italy, followed by Spain and the United States.

The first 100,000 cases were reported in around 55 days and the first 500,000 in 76 days. Cases doubled to 1 million within the past eight days.

Total cases reported by Thursday grew 10pc from a day earlier, the first time the rate has hit double digits since the virus took hold outside China

19:45 02/04/2020

Exclusive: 'I was terrified of dying alone - but now at age 82, I have beaten coronavirus'

WHEN Paddy-Joe Lynch went into hospital almost two weeks ago, he had convinced himself he wouldn’t be coming back out.

At 82, with several underlying health issues, he was well aware that the odds were stacked against him. He had tested positive for Covid-19, a virus that does its worst when it comes for the elderly.

“I was convinced that it was it for me,” he told Independent.ie.

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