May 18, 2021

LATEST: Kilkenny among 720 new cases of virus as five further deaths confirmed

A further five people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 720 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.

It brings the overall death toll as a result of the virus to 1,890. There are now 58,767 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

The breakdown of the latest cases is as follows: 228 are in Dublin, 130 in Cork, 47 in Galway, 31 in Meath, 27 in Limerick, with the remaining 257 cases spread across another 20 other counties, including 12 in Kilkenny.

The latest cases were confirmed after EU officials warned there will not be sufficient doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to cover the wider population before 2022.

They said that, even if an effective antidote to the virus does become available, only a share of the 450 million people living in the EU would receive it before the end of 2021.

The more downbeat assessment  comes after Tánaiste Leo Varadkar recently said the Government is optimistic about the rollout of a vaccine by early next year.

EU governments remain split on vaccination plans.

The 27 member states have secured more than one billion doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines from three drugmakers.

The trade bloc is also negotiating the booking of another one billion vials of potential vaccines with other companies.

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