Coronavirus: Death toll reaches 263 as restrictions set to remain in place

Coronavirus: Death toll reaches 263 as restrictions set to remain in place
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan

More than 260 people with Covid-19 have now died in Ireland, as 28 more deaths related to the virus were announced this evening.

The new deaths, announced by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), bring the total number of deaths to 263.

The majority of the most recently announced deaths occurred in the east of the country, while there were two deaths in each of the west, north-west and southern regions. The median age of death was 81.

There are also 500 new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total to 6,574.

There were also four more deaths recorded in the North today, bringing the total there to 82, with 1,477 confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, Simon Harris has said that it is unlikely that restrictions introduced last month to counteract the spread of Covid-19 will be lifted in the next couple of weeks.

The Health Minister is to meet with the NPHET tomorrow and he expects them to recommend a continuation of the restrictions for "a period of weeks".

“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," he said, speaking on Classic Hits.

Mr Harris' comments come as infectious disease expert Dr Paddy Mallon has warned that this holiday weekend could be “Ireland’s Cheltenham” in terms of the spread of Covid-19.

A number of key crossing points along the border are to be monitored by the Gardaí and PSNI this weekend.

The move is part of the effort to stop people travelling to holiday homes for the Easter bank holiday weekend.

The Garda Commissioner Drew Harris warned yesterday that anyone found to be travelling to a holiday home would be turned around.

The restrictions in operation since Friday, March 27 mandate that everyone should stay at home, only leaving to:

  • Shop for essential food and household goods;
  • Attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products;
  • Care for children, older people or other vulnerable people - this excludes social family visits;
  • Exercise outdoors - within 2kms of your home and only with members of your own household, keeping 2 metres distance between you and other people
  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service - be sure to practice physical distancing

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