Connect with us

Foreign

No change to two-meter social distancing rule in Ireland: PM

Published

on

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Saturday that there is no change to the two-meter social distancing rule that has been adopted in the country following the COVID-19 outbreak.

His remarks came after several cabinet ministers and opposition parties called for the adoption of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance, which recommends keeping at least one-meter social distancing, according to Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE.

Advocates of halving the current two-meter social distancing rule in the country believe that by doing so, it will have a positive impact for both small businesses and schools, said the report.

The report quoted Labour Party leader Alan Kelly as saying: “We now need a clear explanation from the government on why we are specifically using the two-meter rule and if the WHO is recommending that distance.”

According to the report, the suggestion to shorten the two-meter social distancing rule will be discussed between public health experts and officials at a cabinet meeting scheduled next week.

To date, Ireland has reported a total of 24,582 COVID-19 cases and 1,604 deaths, according to the Irish Department of Health.

(XINHUA)

Foreign

Ireland’s jobless rate in May slightly down to 26.1 pct

Published

on

By

Ireland’s jobless rate in May went down slightly to 26.1 percent from the previous month’s figure of 28.2 percent, said the country’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday.

The jobless figure was calculated by taking into account the number of people who lived on the state support income during the COVID-19 pandemic, said the CSO in a statement.

But the seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for May, if based on standard methodology, stood at 5.6 percent, up from 5.4 percent in April, according to the CSO.

On March 16, the Irish government initiated a scheme called COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, under which people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic can get paid by the government at a weekly rate of 350 euros (about 393 United States dollars) for 12 weeks.

The scheme has created a huge burden on the government.

At the peak time, nearly 600,000 people in Ireland were in the receipt of the payment, according to the Irish Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Wednesday that the government’s overall deficit in May jumped to 6.143 billion euros from 63 million euros in the same month of last year.

Earlier last month, Donohoe predicted that the fiscal deficit for this year will increase to more than 23 billion euros, which will account for about 7.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. In recent days, he revised up the figure to 30 billion euros.

The finance minister has repeatedly hinted that such a situation is not sustainable and the government may make adjustments to the scheme while pledging to extend it beyond 12 weeks if needed. (1 euro = 1.12 U.S. dollars)

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Ireland’s retail sales in April record largest monthly drop in 11 years

Published

on

By

Ireland’s retail sales in April decreased by 35.4 percent when compared with the previous month, said the country’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday.

This is the largest monthly drop since January 2009, said the CSO, adding that retail sales in April decreased by 43.3 percent when compared with a year ago.

In April, largest decreases were recorded in the sector of furniture and lighting which plummeted by 84.1 percent compared with the previous month, followed by bars (down 77.1 percent), clothing, footwear and textiles (down 73.6 percent), and motor trades (down 71 percent), showed the CSO figures.

However, all the retail sales sectors in the country saw an increase in the proportion of their online sales in April, said the CSO.

The proportion of clothing, footwear and textiles sold online in April increased eight times compared with the previous month whereas the proportion of electrical goods sold online increased from 15.2 percent in March to more than 60 percent in April, it said.

In April, online sales accounted for 15.5 percent of the total turnover of the retail sales sector in Ireland, the highest figure recorded since November 2018 when collection of such figures started, according to the CSO.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Overseas visitors to Ireland down 99 pct in April due to pandemic

Published

on

By

The number of overseas visitors to Ireland in April went down by 99.1 percent to a meagre 16,100 compared with more than 1.71 million in the same month of last year, said the country’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday.

April 2020 also saw an unprecedented collapse in overseas travel from Ireland as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis deepened, said the CSO in a statement, adding that only 17,800 Irish residents travelled overseas during the month, down 99 percent compared with a year ago.

During the first four months of this year, the number of overseas visitors to Ireland stood at about 3.1 million, down 44.4 percent year-on-year, showed the CSO figures.

The number of overseas visitors to Ireland witnessed a free fall after the country reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 at the very end of February.

In January and February, the numbers of overseas visitors to Ireland had managed to grow by 1.8 percent and 2.3 percent respectively, but by March, the monthly figure plunged 56.7 percent when compared with the same month of last year, according to the CSO data.

The number of overseas visitors to Ireland further shrank sharply in April after the Irish government announced a nationwide lockdown towards the end of March to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

The lockdown measures had remained in place throughout the entire month of April and was not eased until mid-May.

Earlier this month, Irish Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin said that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the Irish tourism sector.

He warned that the country’s tourism trade could drop more than 50 percent this year if the problem is not addressed immediately and forcefully.

CSO figures showed that 10.8 million overseas tourists visited Ireland in 2019.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Over 90 pct of COVID-19 deaths in Ireland aged over 65

Published

on

By

Over 90 percent of the people who have died from COVID-19 in Ireland were those aged over 65, said the country’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday.

A total of 1,518 people had died from COVID-19 as of May 15 since the country reported its first COVID-19-related death on March 11, said the CSO, adding that an analysis of these death figures showed that almost 92 of them were elderly people aged over 65.

The death figures came from the Health Protection Surveillance Center (HPSC) of Ireland, said the CSO.

HPSC is an official organization responsible for collecting and releasing the COVID-19-related figures in Ireland.

The analysis of the HPSC figures revealed that people aged over 65 were the hardest hit group among all the age groups during the pandemic, said the CSO.

Almost 88 percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying conditions, said the CSO, adding that the median age of these deaths was 83, the same as that for all deaths.

The CSO’s analysis also showed that the highest amount of COVID-19-related deaths occurred during the week ending April 17 when 270 people lost their lives while the lowest amount of deaths took place during the week ending May 15 when only 65 people died.

Ireland reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Feb. 29. As of Thursday, there were altogether 24,391 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Ireland and 1,583 of them have died of the disease, according to the Irish Department of Health.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Live COVID-19 updates: Over 800 cases found in Ireland’s meat processing plants

Published

on

By

The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

– – – –

DUBLIN — A total of 828 people working at meat processing plants in Ireland have been confirmed infected with COVID-19, Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE reported on Wednesday.

The report quoted health authorities as saying that of all the confirmed cases in the meat processing plants, 328 were reported over the last week, making such a place another potential hot spot for outbreaks of clusters of infections in the country.

– – – –

GAZA — The spokesman of the Hamas-run ministry of health in Gaza said on Wednesday night that seven new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the Gaza Strip.

Ashraf al-Qedra told a news briefing held in Gaza city that the new cases are of Palestinians that had returned from Egypt last week through Rafah crossing point on the borders with the Gaza Strip.

– – – –

PARIS — France‘s coronavirus death toll increased by 110 on Wednesday, bringing the tally to 28,132, data released by the Health Ministry showed.

In total, 17,941 people remain hospitalized in France for a COVID-19 infection by Wednesday evening, with 1,794 patients in intensive care, said the ministry in a statement.

– – – –

BEIJING — Chinese health authority said Thursday that it received reports of two new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Wednesday, of which one was imported and reported in Guangdong Province.

The other case was domestically transmitted in Shanghai, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

– – – –

GENEVA — Michael Ryan, executive director of the Health Emergencies Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO), on Wednesday warned against using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, the drugs for malaria and other diseases, in the treatment of COVID-19, saying these drugs should be reserved for use “within clinical trials”.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Over 800 COVID-19 cases found in Ireland’s meat processing plants: report

Published

on

By

A total of 828 people working at meat processing plants in Ireland have been confirmed infected with COVID-19, Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE reported on Wednesday.

The report quoted health authorities as saying that of all the confirmed cases in the meat processing plants, 328 were reported over the last week, making such a place another potential hot spot for outbreaks of clusters of infections in the country.

In the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ireland, most clusters of infections were reported in the long-term residential care facilities, especially nursing homes where the coronavirus has killed many elderly people.

Meat Industry Ireland (MII), an organization representing the interests of meat processing plant owners, told RTE that they have taken a wide range of measures to tackle the outbreak of the disease.

Earlier this month, a pork processing plant in County Offaly in central Ireland made it compulsory for its workers to take temperature screening, wear face coverings, and keep social distancing at worksite after nearly one tenth of its 600 employees were found infected with COVID-19, according to local media reports.

MII Senior Director Cormac Healy said that meat processors in the country will continue to work with health authorities to contain the spread of the virus.

He also said that 60 percent of the workers at meat processing plants who had contracted the virus had returned to work.

According to MMI, there are an estimated 15,000 people working at meat processing plants in Ireland.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

UK confirms new checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain

Published

on

By

The British government on Wednesday confirmed that animals and food products entering Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain will face new checks as part of the Brexit deal.

In a command paper, the government sets out how Britain will meet its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol — upholding Northern Ireland’s place in Britain and respecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

The infrastructure at ports in Northern Ireland where checks on animals and food products are already carried out will be expanded, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told MPs.

Gove also said implementation of the protocol will not involve new customs infrastructure. Any processes on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be kept to an absolute minimum, he added.

“Although there will be some limited additional process on goods arriving in Northern Ireland, this will be conducted taking account of all flexibilities and discretion, and we will make full use of the concept of dedramatisation,” according to the command paper.

Businesses in Northern Ireland will have unfettered access to the rest of Britain’s market, and there will be no tariffs on goods remaining within Britain’s customs territory and no new customs infrastructure, said the paper.

Northern Ireland businesses will be able to benefit from the new free trade agreements that Britain will strike with countries around the world, said the paper.

“The command paper outlines how the protocol can be implemented in a pragmatic, proportionate way: one that protects the interests of the people and economy of Northern Ireland, recognises Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom and its internal market, provides appropriate protection for the EU Single Market, and respects the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland,” said the government in a press release.

The protocol arrangement will only remain in force as long as the people of Northern Ireland want to keep it, with elected institutions in Northern Ireland deciding whether to extend or end the arrangements in a vote every four years, starting in 2024, said the government.

Trade arrangements on the island of Ireland was one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the protracted trade negotiations between London and Brussels.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Ireland to ban sale of menthol flavored cigarettes from May 20

Published

on

By

Ireland will ban the sale of menthol flavored cigarettes and tobacco products starting from May 20, according to a government statement released here on Tuesday.

The statement issued by the Irish Department of Health quoted Minister for Health Simon Harris as saying that the sale of menthol flavored tobacco including cigarettes will be prohibited from Wednesday.

The purpose of the ban is to ensure that cigarettes and tobacco products for sale can no longer include ingredients that would make smoking more palatable or make it easier for people to start smoking by masking the taste of tobacco, said the minister.

He noted that smoking is an addictive and lethal habit and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever to quit the habit.

According to the minister, the World Health Organization said earlier this month that a review of studies by public health experts found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers.

The review also warned that tobacco is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases and these conditions increase the risk of developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Social impact of COVID-19 crisis on women greater than men in Ireland: survey

Published

on

By

The social impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women is greater than men in Ireland, according to a survey released by the country’s Central Statistics Office on Tuesday.

The survey, which was conducted between April 23 and May 1, showed that the percentage of women now reporting “low” satisfaction with overall life has more than doubled the rate in 2013 when the country was experiencing the effects of the 2008 financial crisis.

In 2013, only 15.1 percent of women in the country reported “low” satisfaction with overall life, but now the figure reached 36.7 percent, said the survey.

The survey also found that more women (38.6 percent) than men (26 percent) reported feeling “downhearted and depressed” during the COVID-19 crisis.

More women than men reported an increase in their consumption of alcohol, tobacco and junk food since the introduction of the COVID-19 restrictions at the end of March, it said.

According to the survey, more female respondents reported being “extremely” concerned about their own health, somebody else’s health and maintaining social ties than male respondents.

Almost half (48.6 percent) of female respondents reported that they would like to return to their place of work after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, compared to less than one in three (31.7 percent) of male respondents, the survey found.

Almost nine in ten (88.4 percent) of female respondents rated their compliance with COVID-19-related government advice and guidelines as “high” compared with seven in ten (72.5 percent) of male respondents, it showed.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

Read Also