Four new coronavirus cases confirmed in west of Ireland

There are four more cases of the coronavirus in Ireland - bringing the total here up to six.

There are two male and two female patients, from the western part of the country.

The patients are all associated with travel from the same affected area in northern Italy. They travelled together.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health, said: “Tonight we can confirm there are now six cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. Contact tracing is underway for these four new cases.”

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, added:

There is still no evidence of widespread or sustained community transmission in Ireland, as seen in some other EU countries.

“While we now have six confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, we continue our containment efforts, central to which is that the public know what to do in the event they have symptoms.”

Meanwhile, two further positive Covid-19 cases have been detected in Northern Ireland. These tests were sent to England for confirmation.

Speaking earlier this afternoon, Dr Holohan said that responses to the disease in Ireland should be "appropriate".

"This virus knows no borders, or race. Restricting travel into Ireland does not form a component of our current response. We must continue to focus on ensuring that everyone is informed, and knows what to do in the event they develop symptoms," he said.

"It is essential that any decisions regarding responses to Covid-19 are proportionate, necessary and based on specific public health advice. No other response is appropriate.

"The general public should continue to follow and for accurate and informative information regarding Ireland’s response to Covid-19.”