The Department of Health has been notified of 319 additional cases of Covid-19.

The number of people in ICU is unchanged at 23.

This evening, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the profile of Covid-19 in Ireland has "continued to improve nationally over the last week".

"While incidence in Limerick in particular remains high (879 cases over past fortnight), it is clear that there has been a concerted effort by all to arrest this pattern," he said on Twitter.

"However, over the coming days it remains very important that people nationally, but particularly in Limerick, continue to adhere to core protective measures - meet outdoors, avoid crowds, keep distance from others & come forward for testing if you have any concerns."

Dr Glynn added that the "excellent uptake" of Covid-19 vaccines is an example of the "vast majority of people acting in solidarity with one another". He also urged people to take up the offer of a vaccine when it arises.

It also emerged today that Ireland has seen a small rise in the number of cases of the Delta variant first identified in India.

The number of cases sequenced up to 20 May is 126, an increase of 10 on the previous figure earlier in that month.

The Delta variants represent 1% of sequenced cases here.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said most specimens from Covid-19 cases to be sequenced for Week 19 were sent to Germany, due to the cyber attack and those results are not back yet.

Meanwhile, eight adult hospitals have no Covid-19 inpatients today, including St James's hospital in Dublin, and hospitals in Sligo, Galway and Waterford.

The three Dublin children's hospitals in Temple Street, Crumlin and Tallaght are also without Covid-19 inpatients.

Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid tweeted there is "further good news this morning".

Figures released by the HPSC show that in the two weeks up until midnight on Wednesday there were 5,370 confirmed cases of Covid-19 - the average age was 28.

The HSE said the cyber attack on its IT systems means this data was collected by its Covid-19 care tracker and may be updated when the systems are fully restored.

A third of people who tested positive were not showing symptoms and 70% were close contacts of a confirmed case.

Dublin had the highest number of Covid-19 cases over that time period with 1,750 confirmed. Limerick had 890 and Cork followed with 474.

At the peak of the third wave of the virus on 18 January, there were 2,020 people being treated in hospital with coronavirus.

As of last night, 59 people with Covid-19 were in hospital, with 23 of these in intensive care units.


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Additional reporting Dyane Connor