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‘We now need to be really careful so we do not further spread the virus’

An award winning image taken by St Brigid’s Secondary School, Killarney student Magdalena Weglarz as part of a school photography competition with a theme of quarantine and social distancing

A TOTAL of 85 new positive cases of coronavirus – the highest increase for a number of months – have been confirmed today, bringing number of people infected with the disease to 26,027.

One additional death was recorded which sees the number of Covid-19-related fatalities rise to 1,763.

The number of confirmed cases in Kerry remains at 317 with no new case reported in the past 24 hours.

Of the dramatic increase in the number of cases reported today, 26 are located in Kildare, 18 in Dublin, 11 in Clare, nine in Laois, seven in Limerick and four in Meath with the remainder spread across seven other counties.

39 per cent of today’s cases are associated with close contacts of an already confirmed case and half are associated with outbreaks.

68 per cent of those included in today’s new figures are under the age of 45 with 53 males and 32 females affected.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health, said today’s figures demonstrate how quickly Covid-19 can re-emerge in the country.

“We are now at a crucial point in our response. Over the coming days it is vital that everyone continues to avoid large crowds, physically distance, wear face coverings where appropriate and wash hands regularly,” he said.

Dr Glynn stressed that Covid-19 is extremely infectious and no one is immune so people are asked again to follow public health advice and stay vigilant.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said over a two-day period Ireland moved from a relatively stable epidemiology to a significant pattern connected to outbreaks.

“We now need to be really careful and adhere to public health advice so we do not further spread the virus. We must remain vigilant to the disease if we are to control it at this point,” he warned.

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