New Covid measures
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has expressed relief at the latest coronavirus figures which indicate that the efforts of the public have made a difference in stabilising infections.
The Cabinet are meeting this morning to discuss proposed new measures designed to further curb the spread of Covid. It comes as the emergence of the new Omicron variant prompts concern worldwide, while health officials in the State warn that coronavirus rates remain too high.
Amid the proposals, the ombudsman for children has cautioned that children should not bear more of the brunt of Covid-19 restrictions.
Ministers will also discuss whether to introduce a new testing regime for international travellers to tackle and delay the spread of the new variant.
Mica redress finalised
The Government finalised a redress scheme late last night for thousands of families in Donegal and Mayo affected by mica following a day of intense negotiations over increased rates for repairing affected homes.
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will bring a memo to today’s Cabinet meeting outlining a revised scheme to finance the rebuilding of homes in counties Donegal and Mayo.
An estimated 6,600 homes have suffered serious structural damage arising from the presence of mica in the blocks used to build the dwellings.
The bill for the scheme is likely to cost the State over €3 billion.
Munster Covid cases
A further nine cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by Munster Rugby in South Africa, bringing the total number of positive cases among the touring party of 48 players and staff to 10.
The group of nine with newly positive tests will move to the designated quarantine hotel in Cape Town to join the first player who tested positive on Sunday.
The remaining 38 members of the touring party have all returned negative results and will continue to individually isolate in their rooms where they have been based since Sunday night, Munster Rugby said.
Although those who have received negative test results still have clearance to travel home, they have undergone another round of PCR testing this morning and will wait on these results “ahead of next steps”.
Dublin drugs seizure
Gardaí have arrested two men and seized over €1.3 million worth of suspected cannabis and cocaine as part of an operation in Dublin.
On Monday evening, personnel from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) and the Special Crime Task Force (SCTF) searched a business premises in west Dublin and two residential properties in city centre locations.
The searches came as part of ongoing organised crime investigations targeting people suspected to be involved in drug trafficking.
During the searches, 66 kilos of cannabis, a smaller quantity of cocaine and a mixing agent were seized with a value of €1,320,000. Also seized was €33,090 in cash, along with two vehicles.