Twenty-four more COVID-19 patients have died in Ireland, taking the toll to 1,488.
Meanwhile, 107 new cases have been confirmed. There have now been 23,242 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.
The daily increase in confirmed cases is the lowest since late March.
The death toll of 1,488 takes into account the denotification of three previously-announced deaths.
44,000 tests have been carried out in the past week. Of those, 1,466 were positive. Gives a positivity rate of 3.3%. We still have 70 people in ICU. Over 500 in hospital. Lot more to do.
— Shane Beatty (@ShaneBeattyNews) May 12, 2020
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “We are continuing to examine the progress of the disease and, though we are still making progress, which is giving us real encouragement, we need to keep going.
“We still have 70 people in ICU and over 500 people in hospital. We have more work to do.”
He said there are now 500 confirmed cases of the virus in 12 clusters at meat processing plants around the country – an increase of 133.
Meanwhile, there are also 12 clusters in Direct Provision centres, involving 149 cases – an increase of 61.
There are five clusters involving 43 cases in the Travelling community and three clusters involving 21 cases in the Roma community.
Dr Holohan said there are also five clusters involving 18 cases in Irish prisons. ON Sunday, the Irish Prison Service confirmed that some staff members had tested positive but insisted there were no cases among the prison population.
As of midnight on Sunday, 3,031 (13%) of the confirmed cases had been hospitalised with their symptoms and 386 were admitted to intensive care.
Dublin still accounted for 49% of the country’s cases with 11,235, followed by Kildare with 1,337 cases (6%) and Cork with 1,234 cases (5%).
Just short of 30% of the confirmed cases in Ireland (6,906) are associated with healthcare workers and 57% of the total are women.
Rachel Kenna, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health paid tribute to the country’s nurses, noting that today marks International Nurses Day and 2020 is also International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
“We did not expect to be marking this year amidst a Global Pandemic; however, our fellow nurses and midwives have risen to the challenge and remain a vital resource to our health service,” she said.
“Our nurses and midwives are working in high risk situations on a daily basis, delivering care in PPE, making personal sacrifices and continuing to provide compassionate care in a stressful environment.
“The public actions over the last number of weeks have meant nurses and midwives can continue to deliver care to those who need it.
“Please continue to support them during this time, hold firm and stay safe.”
Meanwhile, a new Dáil committee scrutinising the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic met for the first time today.
Independent TD Michael McNamara was been appointed as chairperson of the COVID-19 committee, which will question some of the top officials and politicians involved in the coronavirus response.
Earlier the Health Minister said face masks will not become mandatory as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) may advise people to wear them when social distancing is not possible; however, Minister Simon Harris said they will not be made compulsory.
He said he is “very hopeful” restrictions will be eased as planned next week.