Number of Covid-19 patients in hospital at lowest since March

More than 100 people have been warned they have come into close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case through the contact tracing app. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Updated: 29/07/2020, 21:30

The State has reached its lowest number of Covid-19 patients in hospital since March, the acting chief medical officer said.

There are eight confirmed cases undergoing treatment, Dr Ronan Glynn said.

The health system was notified of another 14 confirmed cases of the disease on Wednesday but no new deaths.

There have now been 25,942 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,764 related deaths in the Republic.

Across Europe the pandemic appears to be accelerating once again, Dr Glynn said.

He added: “We have an opportunity to avoid a similar scenario here.”

The latest figures come as more than 100 people were warned they have come into close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case through the Republic's contact tracing app.

Almost 1.45 million people have downloaded the Covid-19 tracker app since it went live in recent weeks.

Public health chiefs say the app plays a vital part in Ireland’s fight against coronavirus.

Senior civil servant Liz Canavan of the Department of the Taoiseach described the app as a “very important enhancement” to the tracing service, but she did not say how many of the close contacts had also tested positive or if any had been tested.

Ms Canavan also warned about the risks of complacency in work and social settings.

“The virus hasn’t gone away," she said.

“We have to keep up with all of the habits we’ve learned since March if we want to keep the disease at bay.

“So while we now can be met up with friends and loved ones, and while many of us have returned to work and once again are seeing colleagues each day, we still need to ensure that, where possible, we keep a safe distance of two metres from the people around us.

“This is one of the fundamental ways that we can protect ourselves and each other and prevent the spread of the virus.”

Additional reporting: Press Association