Coronavirus: 38 new cases confirmed in the Republic

Dr Ronan Glynn urged people to exercise extreme caution this bank holiday weekend to halt the spread of the virus. File photo

Another 38 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic on Friday, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Health officials said there have been no further deaths due to coronavirus.

The new cases bring to 26,065 the total of confirmed infections. The death toll from Covid-19 in the State since the pandemic began stands at 1,763.

Of the 38 cases confirmed on Friday, 32 are located in Dublin or Kildare. Some 82 per cent of the infections are in people aged under 45 years.

The State's acting chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said: “We may be beginning to see more cases which we cannot link to outbreaks or close contacts. The National Public Health Emergency Team will continue to monitor this situation closely over the coming days.”

He also urged people to exercise extreme caution this bank holiday weekend to halt the spread of Covid-19.

“This weekend, the six key things people need to do are limit the size of your network & time you spend with them, keep your distance, meet up outside if possible, wash your hands, wear a face covering and download the COVID Tracker App,” he said.

The latest update comes after NPHET said it was "very concerned" at the rising number of Covid-19 cases. On Thursday, 85 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the Republic, the highest number in two months.

There had been concern that people travelling to Ireland from abroad were the cause of an increase in cases, but, speaking on Thursday evening, Dr Glynn said the "vast majority of cases are Irish-to-Irish transmission."

"To a certain extent, there have been a number of side debates over the past number of weeks that I think, you know, have distracted from the core messages. It can lead to people thinking that their own role as individuals is less important, and in fact that’s never been more important," he added.

Dr Glynn said the next couple of days will be critical: “It may be a sign of something more significant, and we won’t know that for the coming days, but in the meantime, as we go into a bank holiday weekend, it’s really important that people remember the basic messages.

“At times I think people think that this is all over, that they don’t need to apply those to themselves and that maybe someone else will get sick – none of us are immune from this, and we need to treat everybody that we come into contact with as potentially infectious.”

At least 18 of the cases from Thursday were from a cluster at a dog food factory in Co Kildare, which has been closed for the past week.

Dr Glynn asked people to take the risk seriously: “Going into a bank holiday weekend, I’m pleading with people to act in the context of a global context, and act in the context of 85 cases in Ireland.”

“We do know what works and we do know what can make sure that we don’t have higher cases in a week’s time – that’s what every individual does this weekend.”

Northern Ireland

In the North, 10 more positive cases of coronavirus were detected on Friday, the Department of Health said. The total number of people who have been infected is 5,948.

No new deaths were recorded, leaving the total in the region at 556, according to official figures.

At a global level, the World Health Organisation is warning young people they are at risk of dying from Covid-19, saying some spikes in cases in Europe are due to young people becoming complacent.

It comes as lockdown restrictions have been tightened in parts of northern England – including the whole of Greater Manchester – because of a rise in coronavirus cases.

The total tally of cases worldwide has reached 17.3 million, while 673,000 people have died.