The Government has agreed an aid package of some €3bn to deal with the public health and economic impact of the coronavirus and it has also moved to cancel all St Patrick’s Day Parades in the State cancelled in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
People affected by coronavirus are to receive sick pay of €305 per week from their first day of illness under a new initiative announced by the Government. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the existing conditions surrounding the sick payments, such as having a specific number of contributions, would be waived.
Payments will also be available to the self-employed. The Taoiseach said emergency legislation to change the existing rules governing sick pay would be introduced in the Dail next week.
The decisions were made following a meeting of the new Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 and followed advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.
There are 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the State but Minister for Health Simon Harris said the outbreak here will become “very serious”, adding there was a moderate to high risk it could follow the progression of the outbreak in other European nations.
An update on the number of new cases will be provided by the Department of Health this evening.
In Northern Ireland, two schools have been closed for a deep clean after a student tested positive for coronavirus. The health minister Robin Swann told the North’s Assembly that the schools are located on the same site. Northern Ireland currently has 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
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