Coronavirus: 344 new cases and four further deaths in Ireland

BREAKING Small daily increase in number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Limerick

Coronavirus: Fewer than 5 cases again in Galway

The national 14-day incidence rate of the virus now stands at 113 per 100,000.

HEALTH OFFICIAL HAVE confirmed 344 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Of today's cases, 127 were in Dublin, 46 in Cork, 26 in Louth, 22 in Donegal, 20 in Limerick and the remaining 103 cases were spread across 20 other counties.

Those under the age of 45 represent 69% of today's cases, while the median age is 32.

But Carlow and Kilkenny have both registered less that five cases in the past 24 hours.

As of 2pm today, there were 269 COVID-19 patients in Irish hospitals, including 32 in intensive care. Mr Martin said the news "gives us hope".

An announcement on exiting the existing Level 5 restrictions is now expected to be made by the Government next Thursday evening.

There have been 70,173 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic. This brings the total number of deaths to 2,022.

However, all non-essential retail will have to close again next Friday for a further two weeks.

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