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latest figures Coronavirus Ireland: 10 further deaths and 426 new cases reported 

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Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer. Picture by Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer. Picture by Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer. Picture by Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

There have been 10 further deaths due to Covid-19 in Ireland and 426 new cases, NPHET has confirmed today.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said yesterday that: “As a country, we have now given a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to 25pc of eligible adults.

“In order to protect the vital work of the vaccination programme in offering us all protection from Covid-19, it is important we continue to remain vigilant and careful. Right now, we need to protect the progress we have made together.”

Discussing the progress Ireland has made, he added that: “While we should remain cautious, we can also be cautiously optimistic. Our vaccination programme, alongside the continued commendable adherence of the vast majority of people in Ireland to the public health advice, are the key to exiting this pandemic in the coming months.

“However, doing things like mixing indoors when disease is still circulating at a high level puts our progress at risk. Please continue to act in the best interests of one another and be safe when socialising.”

Yesterday, several restrictions were lifted, with some outdoor sports now being permitted. They are primarily non-contact sports like golf and tennis. However, these sports can only take place with a maximum of two households.

In addition, zoos have also reopened. Dublin Zoo, Fota Wildlife Park in Cork, and Tayto Park in Meath all reopened parts of their facilities as a result. Pet farms are similarly allowed to welcome visitors.

Funeral restrictions have also changed, with 25 people now permitted to attend one. However, there has been no increase in the number of people allowed to go to a wedding.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 situation in India remains dangerous, as hospitals across the country are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced yesterday that Ireland would donate 700 oxygen concentrators to India.

“These devices draw oxygen from the air and deliver it to the patient at over 90pc concentration. The donation is being made from stocks originally purchased by the HSE for use in a field hospital setting, as part of pandemic preparations,” he said.

Former President and UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson has called for political pressure to support an international campaign for intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines to be waived. This would allow vaccine production to be increased globally, particularly in developing nations such as India.

“The experts are very clear, even if one country does not have access to vaccines, it will not guarantee that the rest of the world will be safe, simply because you'll have variants that we are actually seeing,” she said on RTÉ's Drivetime last week.

Last year, South Africa and India jointly requested that the World Trade Organization temporarily suspend intellectual property. However, their push proved to be unsuccessful.

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