THE Republic of Ireland has today announced a nationwide shutdown over coronavirus.
Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar revealed schools, child care facilities, public offices and colleges are among the facilities that will close in a bid to stem the killer bug, which has killed more than 4,000 people worldwide.
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It comes before Boris Johnson chairs an emergency Cobra meeting as the UK ramps up its battle plan to deal with the virus.
Making a statement in Washington DC, Mr Varadkar announced a clampdown on mass gatherings of more than 100 people and the cancellation of outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people.
Staff are being urged to work from home as the lockdown comes into effect from 6pm today.
The shutdown will last until March 29.
Coronavirus has infected 43 people and killed one person in Ireland so far.
Dublin's St Patrick's Day celebrations have already been cancelled as the pandemic rips across the globe.
Shops, cafes and restaurants will remain open, The Taoiseach added, but people should limit their social interaction when they can.
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