Every year Dublin throws the biggest of Ireland’s parades for St Patrick’s Day, which falls on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. But this year the city has cancelled its annual parade amid fears of coronavirus.
The city council said the decision was the right one, and that public welfare was paramount.
It is understood the decision was made following advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.
There are fears across the world that public gatherings could fuel the spread of the virus, which has so far killed almost 4,000 people globally.
Earlier on Monday the city of Cork also cancelled its annual parade, which attracts up to 50,000 people every year.
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On Monday, Ireland’s health minister, Simon Harris, said the coronavirus outbreak in the country will become “very serious”.
He added there is a moderate to high risk it could follow in similar ways as other European nations.
Italy is currently dealing with an outbreak of the virus, and in just one day Italy’s coronavirus death toll has jumped from 133 to 366.
Speaking to RTE Morning Ireland, Mr Harris urged people not to panic.
He said: “I think that’s a really important message, I know a lot of people are worried.
“Over 80 percent of us who will get this virus will get a mild illness, but for some of us we will get very sick.
“What we have to do as a government, and what we have to do as a society, is prepare, and particularly prepare to support vulnerable groups of older people and people with underlying health conditions.
“There’s things all of us can do as individuals in terms of trying to slow the spread of this virus because the best possible chance we have in terms of dealing with this virus is to slow its spread.
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“That helps our health service, it helps our frontline stuff and it helps us all as individuals.”
According reports from The Journal, all St Patrick’s Day parades in Ireland will be cancelled this year.
The decision was reportedly made at a cabinet sub-committee this afternoon.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to brief the media this afternoon after meeting with political party leaders.
The decision to cancel St Patrick’s Day events across Ireland comes as cases of coronavirus around the world have exceeded 100,000.
As of March 9, there have been 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ireland.
Other European countries have also reported cases, with the number of infections in Italy reaching 7,375, making the country’s outbreak the biggest outbreak in Europe.
France has reported 1,209 cases, while 1,151 cases have also been recorded in Germany.
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