Ireland Covid-19: re-confined, Dublin looks like a ghost town
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Almost deserted streets and social life on pause… In Dublin, “there is again this kind of cloud of sadness, the impression that the city is abandoned, ”says Sunniva O'Flynn, 57. The Irish capital indeed seems very calm this Thursday, on the first day of a reconfinement of the country, a first in Europe in the face of the second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. "It's a bit strange and poignant", loose the Dubliner.
Non-essential businesses have closed for six weeks and Irish people are under house arrest, with a few exceptions, such as exercising within a three-mile radius of their home or doing a job deemed essential. Bars and restaurants can only serve take-out food, but schools have remained open, the main difference with the long spring lockdown.
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At Grafton Street, one of Dublin's main shopping streets, there is no sign of the usual hustle and bustle on Thursday. Only a few masked travelers took seats in the usually crowded trams, and public transport was reduced to 25% of capacity.
"I just want a return to normal"
"I have a lot of trouble with this confinement", explains banker Jo Finn, who lives alone and fears long weeks of isolation. “I just want a return to normal: I miss my friends, like my family and my normal life. "
The pandemic has killed at least 1,868 people in Ireland for a population of less than five million. Official figures also note a strong resurgence of contaminations, with 1,167 new positive cases on Wednesday. After peaking at 77 deaths per day in April, the number of daily deaths often remains below ten today.
"The virus is now at a point where it is spreading in many different ways," warned the Minister of Health, Stephen Donnelly, on public radio and television RTE.
However, wanting to be encouraging, he stressed that the country had already overcome the same ordeal a few months ago. “It worked, we flattened the curve […] and today is the first day we will flatten the curve a second time. "
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