Two more people in Ireland who were diagnosed with the coronavirus have died.

Department of Health officials said this evening that both patients were from the east of the country. One was a female with an underlying condition, the other was male.

It brings the total number of people with the virus to have died to nine.

A further 235 new cases of Covid-19 were also confirmed this evening. There are now 1,564 cases of the virus in the Republic of Ireland.

So far, 55% of confirmed cases are male and 45% are female, with 63 clusters involving 289 cases.

The median age of confirmed cases is 45 years of age. More than 305 cases (26%) have been hospitalised so far.

Of those hospitalised cases, 39 have been admitted to ICU. The Department of Health said 24% of cases are associated with healthcare workers.

Dublin has the highest number of cases at 559, (57% of all cases) followed by Cork with 133 cases (11%).

The Department of Health has said that community transmission accounts for 49% of cases so far, while 23% of cases are as a result of close contact with a confirmed case. Travel abroad accounts for 28% of cases.

Dr Holohan said only 6% of tests carried out so far have come back as positive.

He said the number of contacts that positive cases have had shows that social distancing measures are being observed around the country.

Also speaking at tonight's briefing, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said Ireland is in the top quartile globally for the number of Covid-19 tests we have done for the size of our population.


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Dr Holohan said: "We know there are more cases out there so we are saying to people if you have symptoms presume it is the disease".

He said there will be cases in the population that we have not detected so we want to focus tests to find people.

He added he does not see any sign of complacency amongst people and the fact 20,000 people have per day have sought testing would suggest there is not.

Many more people who could have the disease have sought testing, he said, and if Ireland tested all of them it would be going beyond what any country in the world has done.

He says the fact that the number of new daily cases has not reached the level previously predicted is welcome.

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, within 1-2 metres, to be considered at-risk or a close contact.