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No deaths of people with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said that there were no deaths of people with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. There has been a total of 1,606 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. A further 59 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 cases have been diagnosed in the Republic, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 24,698.

Dr Holohan said the fact that there has been no deaths over the past 24 hours is "part of the downward trend" that has been seen. However, he said while this has not been seen since before the middle of March, there is always a "weekend effect" in terms of reporting and this can result in a delay in figures. On discussions around decreasing social distancing from two metres to one, Dr Holohan said "at the moment we think that two metres is a reasonable compromise given where we are".

He said all the public health advice is under constant review and they will continue to look at it. He said it is not a magic thing on its own, the risk of transmission from two metres is less than that from one metre. Dr Holohan said public health officials are working with their colleagues in the Department of Children and will continue to give consideration to what measures can be put in place to assist essential workers and other parents with childcare. He said "a set of arrangements had been planned to be introduced coincident with the easing of restrictions last Monday but the take up of that particular scheme was low". The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet on Thursday this week. He said the frequency of meetings is driven by the scale of work they have. In Northern Ireland, the number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus has risen to 514 after eight more deaths were reported by the Department of Health. The department also reported a further 39 cases of confirmed Covid-19, bringing the total number of positive cases in Northern Ireland to 4,609.

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