Ireland to close schools and colleges amid coronavirus

Ireland to close schools and colleges amid coronavirus
# 12 March 2020 22:26 (UTC +04:00)

Schools, colleges and other public facilities in the Republic of Ireland are to close in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, APA reports citing BBC.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar said the measures take effect from 18:00 on Thursday until 29 March.

He said that Northern Ireland and the UK would be briefed on developments.

The first death linked to coronavirus in Ireland - involving an elderly woman with underlying health conditions - was announced on Wednesday.

Meanwhile two more people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 10.

There are now 596 confirmed cases in the UK.

On Thursday another two more cases were diagnosed in Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 20.

Making the announcement, Mr Varadkar added that indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 should be cancelled. He said people should work remotely if possible. Airports and ports will remain open.

Earlier on Thursday, stocks tumbled around the world after US President Donald Trump restricted travel to the US from mainland Europe in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The UK and Ireland were not included.

Mr Trump announced a ban on travellers from 26 European countries entering the United States for 30 days, starting on Friday.