Five new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland.
It brings to 18 the number of confirmed case of the virus.
Two men and three women are among the five new cases.
The National Public Health Emergency Team announced the new cases at a briefing this evening. They are:
The statement said 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: "We ask that no organisation, school or health service provider acts unilaterally.
"We need to respond to the threat of COVID-19 in unison, following the advice of Public Health."
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, added: "The past number of weeks have been challenging for everyone in our healthcare system. This challenge is going escalate as the number of cases here rise.
"We must prioritise the protection of our frontline healthcare staff and as part of this the National Public Health Emergency Team has established a sub-group to identify and implement appropriate measures to protect them."
In another development, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald announced she was cancelling plans to visit Washington DC next week for St Patrick’s events.
Mrs McDonald’s children attend a school that has been closed due to a coronavirus case.
Meanwhile, strict visitor restrictions have been implemented in more than 20 hospitals around the country due to the virus outbreak.
Seven coronavirus cases were confirmed by the HSE yesterday, including the first case of community transmission.
Earlier today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the government was still not recommending the cancellation of mass public gatherings, such as the main St Patrick’s Day parades and festivals.
Mr Varadkar was speaking after meeting with health officials on Friday.
“We are not recommending at this stage that any major events be cancelled, but this of course will be kept under review,” he said.
Meanwhile, a fourth coronavirus case has been identified in the North.
The adult patient had recently travelled from Italy and is linked to a previously confirmed positive case.
Staff at the Public Health Agency are working to identify contacts the individual may have had.
The region’s chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said: “Further positive cases have been expected and we anticipate the number will increase in the days and weeks ahead.
“Northern Ireland remains in the containment phase and it is important to emphasise that. This will obviously be kept under constant review.”
- with reporting by Press Association