Ireland records no new COVID-19 deaths

Ireland has recorded no deaths for the first time since March.

The country’s leader, Leo Varadkar, said it was a “day of hope” as only 59 new cases were detected.

He hailed it as a “significant milestone.”

“First day with no reported COVID 19 deaths since March 21st. This is a day of hope. We will prevail.”

The Republic has had 1,606 COVID-19 linked deaths and 24,698 confirmed cases.

Dr Tony Holohan, Ireland’s chief medical officer, said figures over the past week indicated “we have suppressed COVID-19 as a country”.

He added: “It has taken strict measures to achieve this.”

Ireland easing lockdown, 5 phases

“It will take another week to see any effect on disease incidence that might arise from the easing of measures in Phase 1.”

Workers such as hairdressers and restaurant owners have urged the two-metre rule be halved so they can reopen quicker.

Ireland’s first stage in easing lockdown started last week.

Measures included reopening businesses such as garden centres, hardware stores, opticians, phone shops and some construction firms.

Outdoor meetings were also permitted again between people from different households.

The second of five phases, starting 8 June, will allow visits to households and see the reopening of libraries and small shops which can properly social distance.

The final phase is set to begin on 10 August.

More cases, more lifting lockdowns

Dr Holohan said small clusters of cases could occur as restrictions are eased but that the country would be prepared.

“One of the things that are going to happen as we ease restrictions and increase the amount of economic activity … we are going to see more clusters of this,” he said.

“This is a highly transmissible virus. The fact that more cases might occur isn’t necessarily a sign that we haven’t succeeded in terms of applying our measures.

“I think we’d be a much better position to deal with that than we might have been in February had that occurred in that way.”


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