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Coronavirus: Taoiseach announces ‘shock’ measures from 6pm today until March 29

Leo Varadkar

The Taoiseach has announced “shock” crisis measures to help deal with the outbreak of the coronavirus in Ireland.

Speaking this morning (Thursday) from Washington DC, Leo Varadkar, said a raft of drastic measures will be put in place from 6pm today and will remain in place until March 29.

Schools, colleges and public facilities will close across the Republic of Ireland.

Indoor and outdoor mass gatherings of 100 and 500 people respectively are being cancelled as he said we are entering “unchartered territory” and that “we need to take the right actions at the right time”.

He has urged people to take a “sensible approach” but admitted the news will come as “a shock” to many people.

He also said the government will deploy all the services it can muster that they they “must do all that we can” to help health services.

The first death linked to coronavirus has been recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

The elderly woman died in a Dublin hospital on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also expected to issue new guidance following a Cobra meeting on Thursday at 12pm.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein has cancelled East Commemorations because of Coronavirus.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that due to the deterioration of the situation concerning the Coronavirus she is taking significant steps to curtail Sinn Féin activity for the foreseeable future.

Mary Lou McDonald said: “Over the last number of days, the situation regarding the Coronavirus has deteriorated further and there are increasing numbers of confirmed cases daily.

“Our first priority must be the health of workers and the wider community.”

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