Fewer than 2,000 people currently have Covid-19 in Ireland, according to figures from the Department of Health.

The figures were provided this evening, and cover cases up to midnight on Sunday, 17 May.

They show 1,807 people were considered 'active' at that point. This means they had received a lab-confirmed diagnosis, and were either in hospital, recently discharged from ICU but not considered recovered, or it had not yet been 14 days since their test.

A total of 1,101 had been diagnosed in the previous two weeks but not hospitalised. 452 were in hospital, and 254 had been discharged from ICU.

Since then, the number of confirmed cases has continued on a downward trend.

Due to the course of the disease in people, only a percentage of the 1,807 could be considered to be potentially infectious.

People can typically only spread the disease between the third and eighth day of infection. The department considers cases to be 'active' for a minimum of 14 days.

Since the crisis began, there have been more than 22,400 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. 87% of people with a lab-confirmed diagnosis have recovered.

Today was the third day in succession in which there was fewer than 100 confirmed positive cases.

Asked about the characteristics of recent new cases on RTÉ's Prime Time, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the National Public Health Emergency Team modelling group, said: "We're seeing a decline in cases in long-term residential care, a decline in cases in healthcare workers, a recent emergence of cases in other congregated settings, such as the meat factories.

"Many are occurring in association with those clusters, some are happening more broadly in the community but it's a very small number of cases which are occurring through community transmission."

On the steps needed to maintain a low rate of transmission, he said: "In the next couple of weeks we need to be even more vigilant and even more careful. The level of vigilance that we have to have as citizens, oddly enough, is higher, even though the number of infections out there in the community is low."