Two people in the North West have been diagnosed with the coronavirus COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
Fifty-four new cases have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland today, bringing the total to 223.
Seven new cases of the virus were confirmed in Northern Ireland, bringing the total number of cases to 52.
The latest update from the Department of Health came after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Ireland can expect a 30% increase in cases of the coronavirus every day. If the rise continues, Ireland could have 15,000 cases of COVID-19 in two weeks’ time.
The government tonight announced an action plan to respond to the health and employment crisis which has been sparked by the pandemic.
A massive healthcare recruitment campaign will be launched nationwide on St. Patrick’s Day, calling on any person that can work in the health sector to take up the duty. Solutions for providing childcare for healthcare staff are set to be laid out in the coming days.
Tanaiste Simon Coveney said the government is advising against all non-essential travel until at least 29th March. The advice includes avoiding travel to the UK, but not Northern Ireland.
An estimated 100,000 people have lost their jobs as a result of businesses closing this week. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said those people are the government’s first priority and they will work to deliver the social protection that they need immediately. Following the crisis, Mr Varadkar said that re-employment and the reopening of viable businesses will be prioritised.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is also expected to meet with banks to explore mortgage payment deferrals for people who are suddenly unemployed.