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'Your decisions will save lives' says Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as Ireland locks down until 5 May

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By Seana Davis
Virus Outbreak Britain
Virus Outbreak Britain   -   Copyright  Steve Humphreys/AP

The Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, has announced that the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic will be extended until 5 May.

"Every sacrifice that we make is helping to save lives," Varadkar said whilst making announcement in Dublin this afternoon.

The decision was made following advice given by the national public health emergency team, with the restrictions previously scheduled to be lifted this Sunday.

"We’ve been able to shelter, the most vulnerable and protect them. Your sacrifices are making a difference. It slows the spread of the virus considerably. But unfortunately, we have not stopped that spread. We all know people who are suffering and breathing at this time. Too many have died. And sadly more will die and get sick before this is over," he said, urging people not to become complacent or "lose focus".

"What will seem like an inconvenience for some, will be life saving for others," Varadkar added.

On March 27th, Ireland tightened restrictions, ordering people to stay at home unless they are deemed to be an essential worker or to get essentials such as groceries. Exercising has been limited to a 2km radius from one's home.

Ireland currently has 6,572 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 263 deaths. The Health Minister Simon Harris also said that the daily rate of infections has dropped from 33% to 10%.

Harris also said that a number of weeks ago, the number of people a person would typically was four, with that number now nearing one.

"We are making a massive national effort, and yes it is going to take us longer. But the hard days you've already put in, are putting us in a much better place than we had feared," he said.