The Department of Health has announced that a further 15 people who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 here have died, bringing the overall death toll to 1,467.

An additional 139 cases of the virus have also been diagnosed in the Republic, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 23,135.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said there is cause for concern that some people believe the worst of the coronavirus is behind us. 

He said new research showed 43% of people believe that the worst is over, and he said this causes a challenge in getting the message out. 

Dr Holohan said if the country gets things wrong at this stage as restrictions are eased, then we could face a challenge every bit as great as the challenge over the last two months. 

He said he understands the anticipation and desire to see progress on things such as shops opening and life returning to normal, but will continue to give advice based on public health needs.

Dr Holohan also said the National Public Health Emergency Team are continuing to give some consideration to the question of masks.

He said they do see a role for facial coverings, but not healthcare grade masks, and there will be guidelines issued to the public on how they can find, use and make masks to use in certain settings.

Dr Holohan has asked for people with coronavirus symptoms to respond earlier and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

He said the wait times for testing are improving and the message is if you are experiencing symptoms do not wait until tomorrow, come today.

He reminded people to self-isolate for 14 days until a test result is received. 

It is currently taking on average five days to get a test result for the virus. The target is still to get it down to three days or below.

Meanwhile, an automated system is being introduced by the Health Service Executive, which will notify people by text, if their Covid-19 test is negative.

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Today's data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, as of midnight Saturday 9 May (22,894 cases), shows that 57% of cases are female and 43% are male.

The median age of the confirmed cases is 49 years.

Of the confirmed cases, 2,998 cases (13%) have been hospitalised. Of those hospitalised, 383 cases have been admitted to intensive care.

Of the overall number, 6,834 cases are associated with healthcare workers.

Dublin has the highest number of cases at 11,175 (49% of all cases) followed by Kildare with 1,331 cases (6%) and then Cork with 1,232 cases (5%).

In Northern Ireland, three more people have died as a result of the coronavirus, bringing the official Department of Health death toll to 438.

There are also 30 new cases of Covid-19 in NI, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 4,149.

Ministers in Northern Ireland aim to publish their plan for exiting lockdown tomorrow, First Minister Arlene Foster has said.

Around 80% of cases of Covid-19 will be a mild to moderate illness, close to 14% have severe disease and around 6% are critical.

Generally, you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person and within two metres of them, to be considered at-risk, or a close contact.

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In the Republic, no mammograms were carried out by BreastCheck last month and there was a 96% reduction in samples sent to CervicalCheck labs for analysis, following a decision to pause both cancer screening programmes due to Covid-19.

Opposition parties have warned that the temporary suspension could have long-term consequences, and have called for a comprehensive catch-up programme.

Figures obtained by RTÉ News show that no mammograms were carried out by BreastCheck in April this year, compared to 13,763 in the same month last year. 

CervicalCheck labs received 937 samples for analysis in April this year, compared to 21,037 in April 2019.

The Health Service Executive said the reduced number of tests received is due to the fact that cervical screening in the community was paused on 30 March.

The BreastCheck programme was paused on 16 March.

However, the HSE said hundreds of symptomatic women, and women who had previously been recommended for follow-on assessments, continued to be treated under the BreastCheck programme.

Majority favour remote working after restrictions ease - survey

New research suggests that remote working arrangements have been enthusiastically embraced by employees in recent weeks.

The study, published by NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission, examines the experiences of those who have been working from home, since public health restrictions were first introduced in March.

Over 7,000 people took part in the study, which was carried out via an online questionnaire in late April and early May.

Half of all respondents had never worked from home before the pandemic, and a significant majority expressed the view that they would like to continue with remote arrangements when the crisis is over.

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Meanwhile, the number of people receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen slightly for the first time since it was launched on 16 March.

589,000 people will receive the €350 payment this week, a decrease of 9,000 compared to last week.

However, it is believed that some of the fall is due to employers re-hiring workers to avail of the Government's Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

This week's PUP payments will cost €206.3m, with 8,700 receiving the payment for the first time.