Dr Ronan Glynn praises ‘kindness’ of Irish public six months after first Covid-19 case


The acting chief medical officer has praised the efforts of frontline workers as Ireland marked six months since the first confirmed case of Covid-19.

Confirming a further 142 cases on Saturday, Dr Ronan Glynn said that “few have been left untouched” by the pandemic, which has seen 1,777 people diagnosed with the virus die.

“Today marks six months since our first case of Covid-19,” said Dr Glynn.

“It has been a very difficult time for many and few have been left untouched in some way by the negative effects of this pandemic.

“However, it has also been a time of incredible solidarity, a time when a sense of community has come to the fore.

“We have seen innovation, cooperation, volunteerism and charity, and kindness on an enormous scale. Our frontline workers have stepped up again and again.

“But underpinning it all has been each person playing their part by making the right choices, many times, each day. Together, we have broken the chains of transmission and flattened the curve.

“As cases rise again, it is these same behaviours that will once again make the difference, protecting ourselves, our families and our communities.”

Dublin accounts for 59 of the most recently announced cases while Kildare has 20, Donegal and Limerick both reported 14, Wexford accounts for eight and Tipperary for six of the cases.

The remaining 21 newly reported cases are located in counties Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Louth, Mayo, Meath and Wicklow.

It comes as the Government said gardaí will receive tough new powers to shut pubs which break coronavirus rules.

Fines of up to €2,500 or a maximum of six months in prison will be the sanction if bars infringing social distancing regulations refuse to close for a day.

Closure orders could be issued by a district court resulting in a pub being shut for up to 30 days.

Plan to reopen drink-only hostelries have been put on hold again as the government attempts to contain the cases.

On Friday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar announced a €16 million support package for pubs, bars and nightclubs which are enduring a prolonged wait to raise shutters.

The new initiatives included waiving court fees and associated excise and stamp duties relating to the renewal of pub and other liquor licences and waiver of excise duty on on-trade liquor licences on renewal this year.

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