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Live Reporting

Nuala McCann, Ciaran McCauley, Caroline McClatchey, Michael Sheils McNamee and Amy Stewart

All times stated are UK

  1. That's it from the BBC News NI Digital Team...

    We hope what we posted was helpful and kept you up-to-date.

    Remember the messages - wash hands, practise social distancing, stay home and stay safe.

    We'll be here again on Sunday to keep you informed with the latest news and how this affects all of us.

    Good night.

  2. A big shout out to the health care workers

    From a hard-hit sector to those on the front line fighting this virus and risking themselves... a message of solidarity and gratitude.

    View more on twitter
  3. Coronavirus: Latest NI stats reminder

    Latest figures
  4. Ireland's health minister on Italian death toll

    Ireland's Minister for Health Simon Harris tweets:

    Italy reported nearly 800 coronavirus deaths on Saturday and saw its toll for the past month reach 4,825, the highest in the world.

    Lombardy - the worst-affected region - has introduced stricter measures in a bid to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

    Under the new rules announced late on Saturday, sport and physical activity outside, even individually, is banned. Using vending machines is forbidden.

    View more on twitter
  5. Ambulance transport cancelled

    The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is suspending its normal transport service for outpatient appointments as of Monday 23 March.

    However, transport to essential renal and cancer centres will still be offered.


    "This decision has been made in the context of the management of Covid- 19 which has resulted in hospitals having reduced non-urgent outpatient appointments and patients having decided against travelling as part of their personal protection strategies," the ambulance service said.

  6. Creativity, kindness and canals offer hope

    Do you find yourself swimming in a sea of anxiety since the coronavirus pandemic took over the news?

    While we are living dark times, there are some reasons to find hope.

    A person in a hazmat suit hugging another person

    Among the reasons for optimism are acts of kindness, a unity between people, and a change in the environment.

    Read the full list here on the BBC website.

  7. More RoI stats breakdown

    Out of a total of 584 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland as of midnight on Thursday 19 March, we know that:

    • 320 male and 257 females were diagnosed
    • 173 people were admitted to hospital
    • 13 people were treated in intensive care units - 2% of all those admitted to hospital
    • Three people died
    • Median age of confirmed cases is 44 years
    • 147 cases are associated with healthcare workers
    • Dublin has the highest number of cases at 55%
    • Cork comes next at 15%.
    • 14 were aged 14 and under and two were babies, less than one-year-old.
  8. Number crunching from Republic of Ireland

    The latest figures from the Republic of Ireland's Health Protection Surveillance Centre, state there has been 102 new confirmed cases of Covid-19.

    That means there are now 785 confirmed cases.


    As of midnight on Thursday 19 March, when there were 584 cases, the centre confirmed that:

    • 55% are male
    • 44% are female
    • There are 29 clusters involving 157 cases
  9. National Trust closing parks and gardens

    Earlier in the week, the conservation charity said it would only close its shops, cafes and houses but it has now gone a step further.

    View more on twitter
  10. More on Nutts Corner market...

    The SDLP’s public health spokesman Justin McNulty says the decision for the market to proceed is "reckless and could potentially cost lives".

    “Whilst many of the shoppers and stall owners may be fit and well and may feel that they will not be adversely impacted by the deadly coronavirus, they will become vectors and could potentially spread the virus to many thousands of people," he said.

    "Decision makers must step in and prevent the market from proceeding.”

  11. Plea over Nutts Corner market

    Ulster Unionist Party leader Steve Aiken tweets:

    According to its Facebook page, the market is still open tomorrow.

    Its Facebook profile says the Sunday market has been running for almost 40 years and holds about 250 stalls, some under a covered area, others out of car boots.

    View more on twitter
  12. Call for more employers to act on jobs

    Following the announcement earlier that Hastings Hotels would not be laying off staff, the trade union Unite has called for other businesses to do the same.

    Many people have already lost their jobs across the hospitality sector.

    View more on twitter

    Union representative Neil Moore said Unite was determined "to ensure that workers do not pick up the bill for this pandemic".

    On Friday, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government would pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.

  13. Southern Trust set the record straight

    Just in case people in the Southern Trust are still confused about something they may have heard today:

    View more on twitter
  14. Cork City stops paying players

    Cork City is to end payments to all players and a number of staff and coaches, BBC Sport NI reports.

    The Premier Division side said wages would not be paid after next week, a day after the resumption of fixtures was put back to at least 19 June.

    Empty football pitch

    "We have to act in order to secure the long-term future of the club," the Leesiders added.

    Sligo Rovers announced temporary lay-offs earlier this week.

  15. 'Limited number of 50ml sanitisers'

    Education Authority tweets:

    The Education Authority says it has been able to source a limited number of 50ml bottles of hand sanitisers for schools opening on Monday to cater for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.

    In a follow-up tweet it tells principals that if they can source their own - or other necessary hygiene materials - they should do so.

    "For small value items sourced locally or need urgently (up to a value of £100 for any one purchase) you can buy with your school’s petty cash float or use yr own money & get reimbursed from petty cash float. Pls ensure that you keep the receipt as proof of purchase," the department tweeted.

    View more on twitter
  16. 'We're listening to nurses' concerns'

    Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill says the nurses' concerns are being heard.

    She was speaking after a two-hour meeting at the Royal College of Nursing's HQ in south Belfast.

    Pat Cullen, head of the Royal College of Nursing in NI, warned that unless there was widespread coronavirus testing of all key health workers, there would not be a functioning health service.

    View more on twitter