People who develop symptoms of Covid-19 have been urged to isolate and contact their GP, after the Deputy Chief Medical Officer said anyone exposed to the virus over the Easter weekend "will now be at their most infectious". 

"Please isolate and contact your GP to arrange a test if you have any symptoms," Dr Ronan Glynn added. 

The Department of Health has been notified of 473 further cases of Covid-19, while 34 further deaths have been recorded, the majority of which occurred in February. 

Nineteen of the reported deaths happened in February, with three this month, four in March, five in January, and three in December or earlier. 

The number of patients in hospital stands at 212, with 53 in ICU - down two from yesterday. 

The overall number of Covid-19 deaths in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 4,769, while the cumulative total number of cases stands at 240,192. 

The median age of those to have died was 81, with ages ranging from 33 to 96. 

Of today’s cases, 76% are under the age of 45, with a median age of 29. 

Geographically, 229 cases were in Dublin, with 32 in Kildare, 30 in Donegal, 21 in Mayo and 19 in Meath. The remaining 142 cases spread across 19 other counties. 

The 14-day incidence rate of the virus nationally now stands at 144.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Counties with the highest incidence include Offaly, Westmeath, Laois and Dublin, while Kilkenny, Sligo, Kerry and Carlow are among counties with the lowest incidence of disease.

Ten counties have reported five cases or fewer in the latest figures.

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Latest trends show the reproduction number for the virus has fallen back to between 0.7 and 1.1, meaning that case numbers could be falling by up to 2% per day.

Also, the number of confirmed cases last week fell by as much as 9%, while community referrals for Covid-19 testing fell by 15% last week.

Hospital admissions are now down to an average of 13 per day - almost half the level throughout the previous six weeks.

Elsewhere the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is meeting again today to consider if it needs to issue further advice to the Government about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

This follows the finding by Europe's medicines regulator that there is a possible link between the vaccine and rare blood-clotting in adults.

Ireland continues to administer the vaccine to people with underlying health conditions over the age of 18.

Doctors here say the risk of falling seriously ill with Covid is far higher than any risk from the AstraZeneca vaccine.