Two more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Ireland, bringing the total number in the State to 21.
Health officials said that both Covid-19 cases were community transmissions and do not involve people who have recently travelled to at-risk areas.
One case involves a male in the south of the country who is a patient at the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork.
The other case involves a female in the east of the country.
A risk assessment is under way and the HSE says it is working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients may have had.
An update from the @roinnslainte this evening. 2 more confirmed cases of #coronavirus #Covid19 today in Ireland. Cabinet Committee will meet tomorrow - but this a national effort and we all have a role to play. We need your help - at home, in school & in the workplace pic.twitter.com/aMH4cVvg8p— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) March 8, 2020
Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer with the Department of Health, said: “Ireland remains in containment phase with 21 cases to date, three of which are associated with community transmission.
“Most people who become infected with Covid-19 experience a mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for some.
“Every individual needs to be aware of how to protect their own health and the health of others.
“The most important way they can do this is by following public health advice.
“Central to this are the protective measures we can all take against Covid-19, which include; washing your hands regularly with soap and water; maintaining at least one metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing/sneezing; and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.”
People have also been advised to cover their mouth and nose with their bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing, then disposing of the tissue.
In a statement, the Bon Secours Health System confirmed that one of their patients tested positive for Covid-19.
Coronavirus response teams have been in place at the Bon Secours Health System for some time.Bon Secours
They said the male patient is being cared for in a single room and contact precautions have been in place since the patient’s arrival.
“To protect patient privacy, we will make no further comment on the case,” the statement added.
“Coronavirus response teams have been in place at the Bon Secours Health System for some time, with working groups at each facility and at group level.
“Bon Secours Health System is working closely too with the HSE and Public Health colleagues.
“Guidance on protocols to minimise risk to patients and staff are being shared on an ongoing basis.”
Visitor restrictions are in place at all Bon Secours Health System facilities since Friday.
These measures include one visitor per patient, no children, and no visitors with symptoms of flu.
“Elective surgeries will continue as normal in Cork except in a very small number of cases and those patients are being contacted,” the statement added.
“Out-patient appointments continue as normal in Cork including for radiation and oncology.
“At present all our other hospitals continue to operate as normal too.
“Bon Secours Health System is taking all appropriate measures and our management, staff and consultants continue as always to rise to the challenge to look after their patients.
“Bon Secours Health System pays tribute to our colleagues for their unstinting work and commitment to provide advanced medicine and exceptional care at all times.”