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Ireland’s Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald tests positive for Covid-19

Ireland’s Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald tests positive for Covid-19
The leader of Ireland's Sinn Féin party Mary Lou McDonald has become the latest politician to fall victim to Covid-19. The nationalist leader confirmed that she’d tested positive for coronavirus but is already recovering well.

McDonald confirmed she was tested 16 days ago, on March 28, and received confirmation of coronavirus infection on Monday. “The Public Health Doctor informs me that I am no longer infected or infectious, and this is a great relief after weeks of being very unwell,” she said in a statement. 

The Dublin-based politician added that she had developed post-viral pleurisy in her right lung over the weekend but that she was responding well to treatment, vowing to return to work within a week.

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“My appeal to everyone is to stay safe, stay home and stay apart. You do not want to get this virus,” she added in her statement, which comes shortly after Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced the extension of the country’s lockdown until at least May 5.

McDonald’s illness comes as Ireland’s political parties are still attempting to cobble together a coalition in the aftermath of February’s general election. Sinn Féin performed historically well in the contest, garnering the most first-preference votes for the first time since 1922. 

However, the party looks set for another spell in opposition as Ireland’s traditional two biggest parties - Fianna Fáil and the incumbent Fine Gael - have both ruled out going into coalition with McDonald’s nationalist party.

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