There are now 34 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, the Department of Health has announced.
10 new cases have been confirmed this evening. They are:
A statement from the department revealed that the HSE is "working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients may have had, to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread".
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said; “98% of all suspected cases in Ireland have tested negative. While Ireland remains in containment phase, there is no room for complacency.
“We all have a part to play in limiting and slowing the spread of this disease.”
At the briefing today the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, dismissed as "conjecture" suggestions that Covid-19 had been present in Ireland since around Christmas, and was responsible for some of the respiratory illness seen this season.
"We've been looking for cases (of Covid-19) for some weeks, and there wasn't anything," he said.
The National Public Health Emergency Team met earlier today and a number of decisions were made during it. They are:
The Department of Health also announced that as of March 9, 1,784 people have been tested for Covid-19 in Ireland.
The figure is an increase of 1,387 tests in one week.
It was also announced today that there were four new cases of Covid-19 detected in Northern Ireland, bringing the total number to 16.
It brings to 50 the number on confirmed cases on the island of Ireland.