People have been urged to continue to comply with guidelines designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

From midnight on 27 March until 12 April everybody must stay at home except in specific circumstances

In particular, people aged over 70 and people who are extremely medically vulnerable are to remain at home and not venture out at all but instead "cocoon" themselves from Covid-19.

In a statement this morning, Deputy Garda Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey, thanked peopled for their compliance but said it was vital this continued so that lives could be saved.

He added that people should continue to stay home, exercise within 2km of their home, and practise social distancing.

"The HSE guidelines are designed to ensure that we stop the spread of Covid-19 and we reduce the risk to our friends and families.

"It is in all our interests that they are adhered to," said Deputy Twomey.

Deputy Commissioner Twomey chairs the garda National Covid-19 Co-Ordination Centre, which co-ordinates the organisation's strategic response to Covid-19.

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There has now been 137 Covid-19 related deaths in the country, with 4,604 confirmed cases of the virus. 

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.

But there are higher risk settings, where transmission is possible in a shorter time interval, where health staff are dealing directly with known or suspected cases in particular settings and may need personal protective equipment.