Coronavirus: 13 further deaths and 371 new cases reported

Ministers are considering plans to reopen pubs outdoors at the end of May
Coronavirus: 13 further deaths and 371 new cases reported

A further 13 deaths and 371 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the Republic on Wednesday.

Three of the deaths occurred in April, three in March, and seven occurred in February or earlier.

Of the new cases, 131 were in Dublin, 38 in Kildare, 33 in Donegal, 18 in Cork, 17 in Meath and the remaining 134 cases were spread across 17 other counties.

The latest figures show 153 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, 45 of whom are in intensive care.

Donegal has the highest incidence rate in the country at 288 cases per 100,000, followed by Kildare at 214 and Offaly at 182.

Lockdown easing

The update comes as Ministers meet on Wednesday evening to consider plans to reopen the economy and society during the summer months.

They will examine whether to allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to reopen outside at the end of May, along with the scrapping of the “substantial meal” rule for pubs.

Personal services, including hairdressers and barbers, could reopen in late May under the plans to be discussed at the meeting.

Senior sources told The Irish Times they are “hopeful” that outdoor dining could reopen somewhere in the week of May 24th but is subject to agreement by Ministers.

Meanwhile, the Dáil has heard that changes to advice on the Covid vaccine rollout could see people under 50 moved up the queue.

The Government this week signed off on a recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Council (Niac) that the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs be given to over-50s only.

The HSE is to make adjustments to the rollout plans based on this advice in the coming days, the Taoiseach told the Dáil on Wednesday.

As of Monday, 1,417,942 doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered in the Republic.

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