Ireland cancels St. Patrick’s Day festivities over coronavirus concerns

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(NBC) – St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the Republic of Ireland have been canceled amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

The cancellations have come at the advice of health officials to help slow the spread of the virus, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Monday. There have been a total of 19 cases of COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, in the Republic of Ireland.

“But I think it’s really important to get across a very important fact; the vast majority of people who get COVID-19 in the next couple of weeks or couple of months will not do so because they attend a mass gathering, they will most likely pick it up in their own home from their family, or from interactions with friends and others,” Varadkar said.

In the U.S., Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters Monday that there were no plans to cancel the New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators.

Anxiety surrounding coronavirus led world stocks to tumble with investors bracing for the economic fallout of the epidemic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that those most at risk for complications from contracting the disease are those over age 80, especially those with underlying health problems.

There have been a total of 5 deaths in the United Kingdom out of 277 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday morning.

Of the more than 80,000 confirmed cases in China, where the virus outbreak originated, 70 percent of patients have recovered.

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