COVID-19: More countries impose lockdown measures

COVID-19: More countries impose lockdown measures
Copyright Dmitri Lovetsky/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Copyright Dmitri Lovetsky/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
By Katy Dartford with EVN, AFP
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Ireland toughens up its measures to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus, whilst Russia sends out mixed messages.


Following several other countries, Ireland introduced a lockdown on Friday until 12 April in a bid to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

There have been over 20 Covid-19 related deaths and over 2,000 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.

Earlier this month the government ordered schools, universities and pubs to close nationwide.

Swathes of non-essential businesses were also ordered shut earlier this week as Ireland braced itself for a rise in cases within its borders.

Emergency coronavirus legislation passed through the final stages of the Irish parliament on Friday.

The laws enact a freeze in rent and evictions for the duration of the crisis and a streamlining of the registration of healthcare and defence forces staff returning to the workforce.

This is meant to enable the Irish government's financial support to go to those laid off as a result of COVID-19 business closures.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday; "Everybody must stay at home, in all circumstances."

He said the new measures would come into force at midnight (0000 GMT) on Saturday and last until 12 April.

Exceptions will be made for essential workers, medical appointments and the purchase of food.

Travel for "vital family reasons", for farming and exercise within two kilometres (one mile) of homes will also be allowed.

All public or private gatherings "of any number of people" outside a single household are also prohibited.

"These are radical actions aimed at saving as many people's lives as possible," said Varadkar at a press conference. "I'm asking us for a time to forego our personal liberties and freedoms for a greater cause."

Russia's "non-working week"

Russia has begun a long "non-working week" to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Lasting until Sunday, April 5, workers will still be paid during the period.

The number of Covid-19 infections in the country passed 1,000 on Friday, with most cases detected in Moscow.

The government is urging people to stay at home, but following the Kremlin stating there was "de facto no epidemic" in Russia and president Vladimir Putin announcing a paid week off work, many people rushed to book holidays.


Travel limited in Turkey

Turkey has cancelled all international flights and inter-city travels are subject to the local governor's permission.

Intercity bus travel has also been limited and walks and fishing along beaches banned, as well as jogging in forests and parks on weekends.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a voluntary quarantine in which people stay at home except for shopping or basic needs to stem a surge of coronavirus cases.

The measures announced on Friday came hours after the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Turkey surpassed the 5,000 mark, while the death toll hit 92.


Private businesses are to emulate the public sector by working with the minimum amount of staff and adopt flexible working hours, Erdogan said, while passengers travelling on public transport would be seated separately.

Picnic grounds would be closed down at weekends and soldiers would be placed in quarantine when they begin and end their military service.

Erdogan said a "pandemic board" would be formed in all provinces to monitor the measures and take additional precautions if necessary.

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