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52 further deaths linked to coronavirus in Ireland

Health Minister Simon Harris has been consulting with medical leaders via videolink at the Department of Health.

Another 52 people have died with Covid-19 in Ireland.

A total of 42 of the deaths were laboratory confirmed, health authorities said.

There has now been a total of 1,063 deaths.

Officials noted 377 new confirmed cases, meaning a total of 18,561 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.

Dublin has the highest number of cases, followed by Cork.

This afternoon, Health Minister Simon Harris noted that there were 118 people with Covid-19 in intensive care units in Ireland on Saturday, compared to 160 earlier this month.

He told RTE there were still too many people in ICUs and too many people seriously sick.

Several hundred new cases and 30 or 40 deaths are being announced daily, he said, adding that the alternative to the current restrictions was worse, and there would be no “big bang” of lifting restrictions.

Meanwhile, a Dublin restaurant has opened a drive-through service during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Brock Inn is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner – while socially distancing from customers.

Drivers pull up in their cars and a special gangway is used to send food down to the vehicle window and collect card payments.

Social media pictures showed long queues for the enterprise.

The menu included fried breakfast, soup and crispy chicken wings.

Irish health chiefs have expressed concern over complacency about restrictions designed to curb the spread of the infection.

Health Minister Simon Harris has been consulting with medical leaders via videolink at the Department of Health.

He said it was an important chance to engage with some leading experts in general practice, critical care and infectious diseases.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has said if the situation remained like this, he would not be able to recommend the restrictions be relaxed.

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Chief medical officer Tony Holohan (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

Chief medical officer Tony Holohan (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

PA

Chief medical officer Tony Holohan (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

The Republic has imposed restrictions on movement – limiting journeys to essential errands like getting food.

A two-kilometre limit for exercise has been decreed.

Irish police have mounted checkpoints near holiday spots in a bid to encourage social distancing.

The restrictions are due to be reviewed by medical experts next week.

PA