Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has warned that the improper wearing of face coverings could increase the risk from Covid-19.

Speaking at last night's National Public Health Emergency Team briefing, Dr Glynn said that although the vast majority of people are wearing face coverings when it is required to do so, some are not wearing them properly.

Face coverings are now mandatory in certain places including on public transport and in retail outlets.

Dr Glynn said it appears that around 90% of people are wearing face coverings where appropriate, but he warned that too many people are wearing them under their chins or leaving their nose exposed.

He said neither method provides any protection against Covid-19 and may in fact increase the risk from the virus. 

When asked if face visors were an acceptable alternative to coverings, he said they were acceptable but not as good as face masks or coverings.

He said if there is a scenario where a person can only wear a visor then they should do so, but that if possible, a face covering should be worn.

Yesterday, 53 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 where reported, and no further deaths.

Of the new cases, 75% were in people under the age of 45 and 14 cases were identified as community transmission. 

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The World Health Organization says data to date suggests 80% of Covid-19 infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation. 

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. 

Latest figures show there has been a small increase in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospitals.

There were 35 patients in hospital overnight with confirmed Covid-19, up two on the previous day. Six of these patients are in intensive care.

The number of suspected cases has also increased from 70 to 109, according to the figures from the Health Service Executive, with 11 of these patients in ICUs.

The 14-day cumilative number of cases of Covid-19 in Ireland for every 100,000 people is 30.6, according to the European Centre for Disease Control.

It marks a reduction on the figure of 32 cases per 100,000 people yesterday.

The rate in the UK is 24 while Italy is on 23.7. The highest rate is in Spain, which has 205.5 cases for every 100,000 people.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said some hospitals are beginning to see increased levels of overcrowding in their emergency departments.

According to the INMO's Trolley Watch figures there are 43 patients waiting at Cork University Hospital and 32 at University Hospital Limerick today.

Overall, the INMO said there are 206 patients waiting in emergency departments, or on wards for admission to a bed.

The HSE puts the figure lower at 167 patients.

Additional reporting Fergal Bowers