Irish naval vessel to become a Covid-19 testing centre

An Irish naval vessel is being transformed into a Covid-19 testing centre.

The LE Samuel Beckett is berthed at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay on the Liffey River in Dublin city centre.

Hundreds of cases of the virus have been recorded in Ireland.

Army engineers provided power and lighting for the vessel, while others erected tents along the quayside close to the central bank.

It is part of a major effort by the Defence Forces to support the health service’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, President Michael D Higgins signed into law emergency health legislation giving the power to impose detention and other measures.

The Republic has taken strong measures on social distancing to try to curb rising numbers of those contracting the virus.

But large numbers of young people were seen socialising in Dublin’s popular Temple Bar nightlife hub despite a high-profile warning against gatherings a short time earlier from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Under the new law, the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020, the authorities can order people to stay indoors, close down non-essential businesses, cancel events and have the ability to impose targeted restrictions on specific areas of the country.

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