Coronavirus: 27 new cases in Ireland, six patients now in ICU.

A FURTHER 27 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland this evening. There are now 70 total cases in the country, an increase from 43 yesterday. There are 20 cases in Northern Ireland as of this afternoon, bringing the total number of cases on the island of Ireland to 90. The new cases in the Republic were confirmed to be: 
22 cases associated with local transmission 
Two associated with community transmission, 
Three associated with travel 
Of the six patients in ICU, one group of patients is a cluster and another group is understood to have been diagnosed through community transmission. At a press briefing this evening, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said public health officials were “concerned” after they were notified about more cases identified last night. He said that closing schools are an “important part of the strategy” and didn’t rule out a further extension on the closures. As of Monday evening, 1,784 people have been tested for the disease. The daily rate of testing has since been increased. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said information around the ability for children to carry the virus without showing symptoms and pass it on is “still emerging”.Glynn said they were asking people to have a “heightened suspicion” if they have any symptoms of Covid-19. The first Irish death from the disease was confirmed yesterday in a woman in the east of the country. There were three patients already in Intensive Care Units (ICU) with three further cases confirmed this evening. Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared the spread of Covid-19 a pandemic. Ireland has stepped up its response to the coronavirus today as the country moves into the delay phase of dealing with Covid-19. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced this morning that all schools, colleges, and childcare facilities would close from tomorrow until 29 March. The shutdown also applied to other public facilities including museums, galleries and tourism sites. Varadkar said today that there will be more cases and more people will get sick and “unfortunately we must face the tragic reality that some people will die”.“We think we’re at an early stage in the disease,” Holohan said, adding that the number of people confirmed to have the disease is still relatively low. He said there is a “real possibility the disease is here in the community”. Responding to a report this evening that a second death from Covid-19 was confirmed, Holohan said: “We have not received information in relation to another death in this country”.