The death of two men in the east of the country who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 have been confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan.
This brings to six the number of fatalities in Ireland since the coronavirus emerged.
At its daily briefing, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre said there were 219 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, as at 1pm today.
Therefore, there are now 1,125 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Mr Holohan said we are still in the early stages of the crisis and that more deaths are likely.
He said he would not release the ages of the men who died as the number of deaths is still small, but said as those numbers increase, the ages will be released.
Dr Holohan, responding to reports of large public gatherings at beaches and parks over the weekend, said this is not a virus of the elderly and called on all people to exercise personal responsibility.
Breaking: Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan says his group are very pleased that the vast majority of the Irish people are adhering to the physical distancing guidelines, but we are not fully satisfied, he said #iestaff— McConnellDaniel (@McConnellDaniel) March 23, 2020
He said that a range of further measures to restrict public gatherings will be decided upon by the National Public Health Emergency Team who will in turn make a recommendation to government.
Dr Holohan highlighted an issue of some publicans continuing to offer services despite the call to shut down until March 29.
He said in such cases, under new powers signed into law, the minister can ask the Gardaí to enforce against such premises.
He gave details of the 836 cases that were confirmed on Saturday.
A variety of measures are under consideration says Tony Holohan and a call about the closure of schools will be discussed tomorrow #iestaff— McConnellDaniel (@McConnellDaniel) March 23, 2020
The National Public Health Emergency Team revealed that 55% of Saturday's 836 cases are male and 44% are female, with 37 clusters involving 210 cases.
They also said that 29%, or 239, of the cases have been hospitalised, with 25 cases being admitted to intensive care.
Dublin still has the highest number of cases at 471, (56% of all cases) followed by Cork with 104 cases (12%).
Community transmission accounts for 45% while close contact accounts for 23% and travel abroad accounts for 31%.
At today's press conference, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said social distancing should now be referred to as physical distancing.
Dr Holohan said: “We understand the anxiety this outbreak may be causing people. All aspects of our public health advice are constantly reviewed by the National Public Health Emergency Team and we will not hesitate to take more measures where necessary, based on epidemiological evidence and in proportion with Ireland’s experience of this outbreak."
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, said: “The key response that every individual can make if they are experiencing symptoms is to self isolate.
"While we continue to increase testing in Ireland, in line with WHO guidelines, the most important action that can be taken against this virus is isolation and social distancing.”