Ireland cancels St. Patrick's Day festivities over coronavirus concerns

Image: Crowds watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, on Mar
Crowds watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, on March 17, 2019. Copyright Paul Faith
Copyright Paul Faith
By Doha Madani with NBC News World News
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There have been a total of 33 cases of COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, between both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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St. Patrick's Day festivities in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have been canceled amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

The cancellations have come at the advice of health officials to help slow the spread of the virus, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Monday. There have been a total of 33 cases of COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, between both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"But I think it's really important to get across a very important fact; the vast majority of people who get COVID-19 in the next couple of weeks or couple of months will not do so because they attend a mass gathering, they will most likely pick it up in their own home from their family, or from interactions with friends and others," Varadkar said.

Anxiety surrounding coronavirus led world stocks to tumble overnight with investors bracing for the economic fallout of the epidemic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that those most at risk for complications from contracting the disease are those over age 80, especially those with underlying health problems.

Of the more than 80,000 confirmed cases in China, where the virus outbreak originated, 70 percent of patients have recovered.

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