Coronavirus Ireland: 26 further deaths and 988 new cases as Taoiseach says pubs and restaurants unlikely to reopen before summer

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There have been 26 further deaths of people with Covid-19 and 988 new cases confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team this evening.

his takes the death toll in Ireland to 4,135, while the number of cases in the State have risen to 214,378.

Of the deaths announced today, 24 occurred in February, 1 in January and 1 in October. The median age of those who died was 81 years and the age range was 58-98 years.

Of the cases notified today 378 are in Dublin, 68 in Galway, 61 in Kildare, 47 in Limerick, 45 in Louth and the remaining 389 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 8am today, 719 patients are hospitalised, of which 149 are in ICU.

As of February 17th, 310,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland.

Meanwhile, pubs and restaurants will likely not reopen until the middle of the summer, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said earlier today.

Mr Martin said that he did not foresee pubs or restaurants opening before the middle of the summer due to the slow pace of reopening which is down to concerns around new variants of Covid-19.

“We don’t foresee that [reopening of pubs etc] before the middle of the summer…what the public health authorities are saying is that we stick with this until the end of April, then we reflect on the situation and make decisions about the months ahead.

“There won’t be much of a change [after this phase] because the numbers are still too high…what we intend is to reopen schools gradually…it will be slow, we’ll be cautious, because we have to monitor the effect on the virus.

“The biggest challenge we face is new variants as they could impact the vaccines. It’s sensible to open slowly, as the vaccines are coming,” an Taoiseach said while speaking on An tSeachtain le Máirín Ní Ghadhra on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

Health officials today said they believe three people that tested positive for the Brazilian variant of Covid-19 followed all guidelines once arriving in Ireland and hope the cases can be “ring-fenced” due to effective contact tracing and quarantining.

Online Editors

Source: Irish News