Coronavirus: Four more deaths and 98 new cases in the Republic

There have been four further deaths and 98 more confirmed cases of Covid-19 recorded in the Republic, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has said.

The death toll stands at 1,772 from a total of 26,470 cases.

Of the new cases, 68 per cent are aged under 45, and 67 are associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case.

Thirty-five cases are located in Kildare, 26 in Offaly, six in Wexford, five in Laois, five in Dublin, and 21 are spread across 10 other counties (Carlow, Cavan, Donegal, Kilkenny, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Westmeath and Wicklow).

The news comes as the Taoiseach announced a regional lockdown in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Addressing the country, Mr Martin said the virus was still a “deep and urgent threat”.

He said a number of limited restrictions will apply to the counties for two weeks from midnight.

Some 289 cases of coronavirus have now been identified in the three counties in the past 14 days – almost half the national total recorded over the period – with many cases linked to food processing plants in the region.