Ireland closing schools, colleges to try and stunt coronavirus spread

Ireland closing schools, colleges to try and stunt coronavirus spread
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Ireland's prime minister on Thursday announced that the country would close all public schools and colleges for the remainder of the month as the country hopes to stop the further spread of coronavirus.

The BBC reported that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar implemented the measures during a speech Thursday morning, explaining that the closures would remain in effect until March 29.

"Lost time in school or college will be recovered and in time our lives will go back to normal," Varadkar reportedly said.

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"Ireland is a great nation, we're great people, we've experienced hardship and struggle before, we've overcome many trials in the past," he added, according to the BBC.

Ireland's health minister also reportedly spoke at Thursday's press conference, where he announced that other public spaces such as galleries and tourist sites would also be shuttered temporarily.

Varadkar's announcement comes as countries across Europe have implemented drastic measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, which is behind a global outbreak believed to have originated in China and has now infected thousands across the world.

More than 110,000 have been infected by the virus globally, which presents as a sometimes-deadly form of pneumonia, and thousands have been killed, with most of the deaths occurring in the Wuhan province in China, where the virus is thought to have originated.