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Coronavirus in Ireland - a timeline

On 16 January RTÉ News published an article online about a mystery virus gripping the Chinese city of Wuhan - now the novel coronavirus has spread to nearly every country in the world and Ireland is waging its own battle against the illness.

16 January
28 February
29 February
1 March
2 March
3 March
4 March
5 March
6 March

The number of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland rises to 18 after five new were identified.

One of these new cases is that of a healthcare worker who was in contact with a confirmed case.

The Taoiseach says the Government will not be ordering the cancellation of any events at this stage, including St Patrick's Day events. 

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6 March
7 March

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan insists the risk of contracting Covid-19 in Ireland remains low, despite the number of confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland rising from zero to 18 in just under a week.

He said the country needs to respond to the threat of Covid-19 in unison, and he appealed for people to follow the advice of Public Health.

A number of hospitals across the country impose bans on visitors over the coronavirus while some hospitals begin cancelling elective surgeries and outpatient appointments. 

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7 March
8 March

A total of 33 cases of Covid-19 are confirmed on the island of Ireland.

The HSE says it cannot dispute projections that 1.9 million people in the Republic of Ireland may fall ill with coronavirus, but the modelling scenario is not completed yet.

Irish citizens are advised not to travel to certain areas of northern Italy as significant parts of the country have gone into lockdown.

 

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8 March
9 March

The Health Service Executive says it is working to identify any contacts the three new cases of coronavirus may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread of the virus.

There are now 24 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic and 12 cases in Northern Ireland.

Authorities say Ireland remains in the containment phase at this time.

The Government decides to cancel all St Patrick's Day parades on the advice of health officials. 

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9 March
10 March
11 March
12 March

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announces that schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close until 29 March because of Covid-19.

Speaking in Washington, he also said indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 should be cancelled.

"Ireland is a great nation. And we are great people. We have experienced hardship and struggle before. We have overcome many trials in the past with our determination and our spirit. We will prevail."  

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12 March
13 March

The Department of Foreign Affairs updates its travel advice in relation to EU countries, advising people to exercise "a high degree of caution" before deciding to travel to other EU states.

The Department of Health confirms 20 new cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland, bringing the total number of cases here to 90. 

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13 March
14 March

The death is announced of a second person due to the coronavirus.

The Department of Health says 39 more cases have been confirmed - with healthcare workers among them - bringing the total number of cases in the Republic to 129.

Five new cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland, bringing the total number of cases there to 34. 

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14 March
15 March
16 March

There are now 275 cases of Covid-19 on the island of Ireland after 54 new cases were diagnosed in the Republic and seven in Northern Ireland.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says a full-scale lockdown would be a disproportionate response and that supermarkets are regarded as essential services rather than indoor mass gathering.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says we can expect a 30% increase in cases of the coronavirus every day.  

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16 March
17 March

In a special Ministerial Briefing broadcast, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says coronavirus emergency is likely to go on well beyond 29 March and could go on for months into the summer.

Sixty-nine new coronavirus cases are confirmed in the Republic, 29 males and 40 females, bringing the overall number to 292.

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17 March
18 March

74 new cases of coronavirus are confirmed in Ireland, bringing the total in the country to 366.

The Department of Health says 45 of the new cases involved men and 29 were female.

42% cases are travel-related, 22% associated with community transmission, 17% are as a result of local transmission and 20% remain under investigation. 

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18 March
19 March
20 March
22 March
23 March
24 March

The Taoiseach announces stringent news measures designed to curb the spread of Covid-19, calling them "unprecedented actions" to respond to an "unprecedented emergency".

In an address from Government Buildings, Leo Varadkar said he was asking people to stay home, unless they could not work from home, with schools and childcare facilities are to remain closed until 19 April. 

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24 March
25 March

New rules are introduced for Covid-19 testing, which means patients need to meet revised criteria to qualify in future.

Patients will have to display two major symptoms - a fever and either a cough or shortness of breath - and fall into a priority group in order to be tested.  

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25 March
26 March

The Department of Health confirms the deaths of ten more people diagnosed with Covid-19, bringing the total number of deaths in Ireland to 19.

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 now stands at 1,819. 

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26 March
27 March

The Taoiseach warns that intensive care units may be at capacity "within a few days".

Leo Varadkar said he was concerned about admission rates to intensive care and there was an unprecedented effort being made by the health services. 

 

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27 March
28 March
29 March
30 March
31 March
1 April

The Department of Health announces a further 14 deaths linked to Covid-19, as well as 212 new cases.

It brings the total number of deaths in the Republic of Ireland to 85. 

There are now 3,447 confirmed cases in total.

1 April
3 April

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan expresses concern over the number of clusters identified in nursing homes. 

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"We need to see continuous actions being taken to reduce the risk of transmission in nursing home and long-term residential facilities," he said. 

3 April
6 April
8 April

The Director of Critical Care Medicine at the Mater Hospital in Dublin says the intensive care unit there is full and some patients, who have been ventilated, have been moved to the high dependency unit for care.

Dr Colman O'Loughlin said that most of the patients in the 18 ICU beds are Covid-19 patients.  

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8 April
10 April

The number of people who have died from Covid-19 stands at 288.

The National Public Health Emergency Team confirms that more than half the victims (156) in Ireland were nursing home residents (54%).  

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10 April
14 April
15 April
17 April
18 April

The Department of Health confirms that 41 more people have died from Covid-19 in Ireland, bringing the overall death toll to 571. 

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18 April
20 April

Around 80% of cases of Covid-19 will be a mild to moderate illness, close to 14% have severe disease and around 6% are critical.

Generally, you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person, within 1-2 metres, to be considered at-risk or a close contact.

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