LATEST: Two more deaths and nine new cases, warm tributes paid to Dr Tony Holohan as he steps back to care for his wife
Two more people have died after contracting the coronavirus as nine annitional cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) this evening.
It brings the overall death toll as a result of the virus to 1,740. There are now 25,498 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country.
The latest cases were confirmed as warm tributes were paid throughout the day to man who lead the country through the pandemic, Dr Tony Holohan, after he announced his decision to step down to care for his wife who is receiving palliative care for cancer.
The Chief Medical Officer has been replaced by his deputy, Dr Ronan Glynn.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “I would like to thank Dr Holohan on behalf of myself and the people of Ireland for helping to guide this country through the Covid-19 emergency.
“Every home in Ireland has come to know Dr Tony Holohan. His leadership during the pandemic has given us all confidence that the decisions being made are based on solid public health advice. As a country we owe him and his family a great debt of gratitude.”
Former Minister for Health Simon Harris, who worked closely with Dr Holohan as they fought to contain the virus on these shores, said on social media: “Tony Holohan is a patriot, an incredible public servant & a doctor who has saved thousands of lives through his leadership. He has kept us safe. I valued his counsel as Minister so much. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us. We think of them & respect their privacy.”
RTE presenter Bryan Dobson also paid a poignant trubite to Dr Holohan: “So many of us across the nation will be more sad than we can say at this news. As a wise person once said: ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle of which you know nothing.'”