BREAKING: No new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Limerick for second day in a row

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THERE are no new confirmed coronavirus cases in Limerick this Friday evening, meaning the number of people infected locally remains at 582.

It's the second day in a row zero new cases in Limerick have been reported, and comes as the Health Protection Surveillance Centre reporting that some seven more people with Covid-19 have died.

In total, it now means tragically, some 1,670 people have died from the dcondition in this country.

There were a further 28 confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing it to a total of 25,163 across the country.

The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

Of the new cases, 43% are male and 57% are female, with the average age 48.

Some 3,312 cases, or 13% of people are in hospital, with 410 patients in intensive care.

The statistics come as government confirmed the speeding up of the phases to ease Ireland's lockdown.

Phase two kicks off this Monday, June 8, and will see all retail shops outside of shopping centres allowed to re-open.

Dr Tony Holohan, the chief medical officer at the Department of Health, said: "As we move to phase two, the government has introduced a range of new measures in line with the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team. It is our individual behaviours and personal choices that will ultimately influence what course this disease takes over the coming weeks and months."

Dr Ronan Glynn, the deputy chief medical officer at the Department of Health added: "The reopening of playgrounds in public locations and outdoor amenities including zoos, animal parks and summer camps, as well as the summer education programme for children with special educational needs, are some of the measures that is hoped will ease the severity of this pandemic on children and their families."

Dr Colm Henry, the chief clinical officer with the HSE: "Phase two provides vulnerable groups scope for home visits of up to six people for a short period of time, however it is vitally important that all visits to homes of vulnerable people be compliant with hand hygiene practices, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing of 2 metres. It is hoped as we move through phases, that life becomes easier for severely impacted groups but that their safety is maintained at all times."

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