Additional reporting by Press Association
27 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland, according to the Department of Health.
Twenty-two cases are associated with local transmission, two are associated with community transmission and three are associated with travel.
Three of the new cases are in intensive care units bringing the total number of patients in ICU to six.
There are now 70 confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced on Thursday that schools, colleges and other public facilities will close for a fortnight from Thursday evening, as part of measures to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.
Ireland’s chief medical officer Tony Holohan said “he recognises the differences” on the island of Ireland in the way governments are dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Republic of Ireland has closed schools, colleges and creches but authorities in Northern Ireland have not.
Mr Holohan said: “We have assessed the situation from our point of view and we believe that closing schools is an important part of the strategy for the reasons of ultimately protecting older and vulnerable people from schoolchildren who may not be significantly affected in terms of the illness.”