Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, a trained doctor, will go back to work to help his country fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a doctor and plans to work once a week with the Irish health service to help out while continuing to lead the government during the coronavirus outbreak.

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will go back to work as a doctor to help out during the coronavirus outbreak while continuing to lead the Irish Government. Ireland officially has 4,994 cases of COVID-19 recorded and has suffered 158 deaths. The first infection was recorded 38 days ago. 

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Varadkar trained and worked as a general practitioner for seven years before pursuing a career in politics. 

He is the first European Union leader to join the front line to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He reportedly spent Sunday evening giving advice to concerned citizens over the phone. 

Ireland's Minister for Health Simon Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Ireland's Minister for Health Simon Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

A government spokesperson said "Many of [Varadkar's] family and friends are working in the health service. He wanted to help out even in a small way.

Varadkar's partner Matthew Barrett is among these. Barrett works as a surgeon at a hospital in Dublin. 

The Irish leader's own parents, his father a doctor from India and his mother a nurse from Ireland, met while working in London under the National Health Service (NHS). His sisters and their husbands also work in the healthcare realm. 

Read more: Irish Central Bank forecasts "severe economic shock" due to COVID-19

In February Ireland's Health Minister Simon Harris launched a recruitment driver for the Health Service Executive (HSE) asking people to "Go on call for Ireland". The campaign came with the stark message "Your country needs you". 

The HSE has since made contact with thousands of health professionals, including Irish based in Australia and elsewhere. So far they have received 70,000 responses.

Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

Speaking on Sunday evening Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: "This past week has proven that the nation is working hard, together, by staying at home to flatten the curve.

"If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 you need to self-isolate and phone your GP.

"I ask that everyone inform themselves on what to do in the instance they develop symptoms, as well as how to maintain their health and well-being. Support and guidance are available on gov.ie/health and HSE."

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