Coronavirus: Over 7,000 confirmed cases in Ireland as lockdown set to continue into May

Coronavirus: Over 7,000 confirmed cases in Ireland as lockdown set to continue into May

Twenty-five more people in Ireland diagnosed with Covid-19 have died.

The news came just hours after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar extended the country's lockdown until May 5.

The total of coronavirus-related deaths in the Republic now stands at 288, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team.

There are now over 7,000 people in the country with the virus with the announcement of 480 new confirmed cases.

Ten people died in the North today related to the coronavirus.

Earlier today, Mr Varadkar pleaded with the public to continue to adhere to social distancing and other guidelines issued by the government.

"Your sacrifices are making a difference," he said.

"We have slowed the spread of the virus but, unfortunately, we have not stopped it. We all know people who are suffering or grieving at this time. Too many have died and more sadly will die and get sick before we are through this.

Today’s message is that we cannot be complacent and we cannot lose focus.

"What we are doing is difficult, but it is making a difference, so we have to keep going," he added.

Meanwhile, Simon Harris has said says the garda enforcement powers brought in to help slow the spread of Covid-19 will continue as long as the restrictions are in place.

The announcement of the lockdown extension came as it was confirmed that the Leaving Cert examinations will now take part later in the summer - and the Junior Cert will be replaced by in-class tests.

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