Ireland to further extend top-level COVID-19 restrictions until early April

Source: Xinhua| 2021-02-24 05:41:08|Editor: huaxia
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DUBLIN, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin announced on Tuesday that the current Level-5 or the highest-level COVID-19 restrictions in the country will be further extended until April 5.

Speaking at a press briefing following the conclusion of a cabinet meeting held here on Tuesday afternoon, Martin also announced that childcare services, primary and secondary schools as well as pre-school classes will be reopened in a phased way starting from March 1.

This is the third time that the current Level-5 restrictions in Ireland have been extended since their implementation from midnight of December 24, 2020. They were first extended to the end of January from January 12, and then further extended to March 5.

Whether these restrictions will be eased or not by April 5 depends on how the pandemic situation will be like, Martin implied.

Under the Level-5 restrictions, people are required to not travel more than five km away from their home unless for some essential reasons and all the non-essential retail outlets and most indoor public facilities are shut down.

The Irish Department of Health on Tuesday evening reported another 575 confirmed cases of COVID-19, in addition to 45 more COVID-19-related deaths.

To date, there are 216,300 people in Ireland who have been infected with COVID-19 and a total of 4,181 people in the country have died from the virus, said the department in a statement.

According to the statement, as of Saturday, a total of 350,322 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Ireland, accounting for about 7 percent of the country's total population.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in Ireland and some other countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 255 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 73 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Tuesday. Enditem