A further 380 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic by the Department of Health.
There are 38 people hospitalised with the disease, and 13 people in intensive care. Data on deaths remains unavailable due to a cyberattack on the health service.
In Northern Ireland, an additional 229 cases were also confirmed on Friday, with no further deaths reported over the past 24 hours. As of this morning, there were 16 Covid-19 positive patients in hospital, none of whom were in intensive care.
As of midnight, Thursday 24 June, we are reporting 380* confirmed cases of #COVID19.
13 in ICU. 38 in hospital.
*Daily case numbers may change due to future data review, validation and update.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) June 25, 2021
It comes as daily Covid-19 cases in Limerick have more than doubled over a period of 24 hours, according to provisional data released by the Department of Public Health Mid West.
A total of 101 cases have been identified in Limerick over the past five days, which has public health experts “concerned”, an informed source said.
The Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has said “many” parishes in the diocese plan to press ahead with plans for communion and confirmation ceremonies, despite the HSE recommending they be deferred in the region to September.
Despite a noticeable drop in Limerick cases over the past two weeks, public health doctors in the city are now said to be concerned after daily case numbers more than doubled from 17 on Wednesday to 36 on Thursday.
Doctors at the Department of Public Health Mid West’s Limerick headquarters want to see lower daily case numbers over a sustained period.
“Fluctuations in daily cases are not good. Once you start to see a jump in cases such as 17 to 36 in one day, it is a sign for us all to keep our guard up,” said one source.
Data published last week showed less than 10 cases of the more transmissible Delta variant were identified in the mid west, however, the source said the results of sequencing of cases for the variant are not known for between two and three weeks.
It is likely that “by the end of next week, it will be clearer” as to whether or not there has been any significant increase in Delta variant cases in the region, they said.
It comes as a nationwide delay to the return of indoor hospitality is looking increasingly likely, as Government and official sources indicated the full return of pubs and restaurants will be pushed back from the planned date.
The chief of the health service, Paul Reid, said the Government has a “difficult decision” to make over allowing indoor dining to return on July 5th amid concerns about a surge of the Delta variant, first identified in India.
The Cabinet is to decide next Thursday if it will give the sector the green light, following a meeting with the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).
Meanwhile, the Taoiseach has said vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson should be reconsidered for younger age groups to fight the spread of the Delta variant.