A woman in the east of the country has become the third person to die in the Republic after testing positive for Covid-19.
A total of 191 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Thursday bringing the total number to 557 in the Republic.
The median age of people with Covid-19 in the Republic is 43 and Monaghan is now the only county not to have reported a case of the virus.
Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health Tony Holohan extended his condolences to the family and friends of the patient who died.
We are already seeing in our everyday lives very significant changes in how society is operating.Tony Holohan
He said for the most part the virus is being contracted by younger and middle aged people – not the elderly.
“For the most part, this is a youngish profile of people with this infection.”
“We know for the most part, this disease has milder and less severe symptoms in the younger cohort.”
He said the increased number of confirmed cases is partly down to the increased number of tests taking place in the last couple of days.
Dr Holohan said it is too early to ascertain the impact of social distancing measures on tackling Covid-19 but it is working.
Commenting on the latest increase, he said: “We are going to see an increase broadly speaking on that scale that we set out over the course of the week. On average, that might be something in the region of 30-40% increase.”
He said we will begin to see the impact of social distancing measures in the next two or three weeks.
“The cases we have seen diagnosed today and in the past 24 hours are cases where people would have been infected and exposed before we brought in the measures.
“As we move to the days further past the weekend, we will be watching the figures and as we pass the end of the month, we should see an impact of social distancing in two or three weeks.”
“We are already seeing in our everyday lives very significant changes in how society is operating and crowds are absent from the streets and from our schools and gatherings are not happening. I think we have seen high compliance when it comes to social distancing measures and the advice we have given.”
The Department of Health said 84 healthcare workers have been diagnosed with Covid-19 – with almost two-thirds of those cases not linked to foreign travel.