Coronavirus: Ireland reports highest daily number of COVID-19 cases since start of May

Ireland has reported its largest daily number of new coronavirus cases since early May.

It announced 200 positive tests on Saturday, in what the country’s chief medical officer described as a “deeply concerning” development.

There are “multiple clusters” and COVID-19 cases are rising in “many parts of the country”, Ronan Glynn said.

Two thirds of the new infections, however, are in just two counties, with 81 in Kildare and 56 in neighbouring Dublin.

Mr Glynn said public health officials would be monitoring the situation “extremely closely”.

Although the country’s health department has been able to trace the origin of most coronavirus cases since the outbreak began, only 68 of those revealed on Saturday have so far been connected to localised outbreaks or to close contacts of a confirmed case.

Mr Glynn advised everyone to limit their contacts, especially people who are medically vulnerable or over the age of 70.

Despite opening its economy more slowly than many other EU countries, cases have been rising in the Republic for the last fortnight.

That increase led to the imposition of localised restrictions in the counties of Kildare, Laois and Offaly, where extra economic support has been offered to businesses.

The measures, which are in place until midnight next Sunday, began at midnight on Friday 7 August.

Officials are due to decide whether to extend them, and to consider whether the final phase of reopening the economy – which would allow all pubs to trade again – can go ahead.

There have been 1,774 coronavirus-related deaths in Ireland, and 27,191 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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