Keep informed of these unprecedented times with the latest coronavirus updates on Independent.ie's live blog.
A further 41 people have died of coronavirus in Ireland, rising to 571 deaths in total. The National Public Health Emergency Team confirmed a further 778 cases in Ireland.
There has now been 14,758 cases of Covid-19 across Ireland.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said yesterday 35 deaths were located in the east, two in the north west and four in the west of the country. The deaths included 23 females and 18 males and the median age was 83.
There have now been 571 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: "This week the National Public Health Emergency Team emphasised the importance of testing in interrupting the transmission of COVID-19 in community residential settings including nursing homes.
“This sector remains a priority for our focused attention and we will continue to monitor and support them through this outbreak.
As of 11.15am yesterday, the HPSC were informed that:
· An additional 630 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported by Irish laboratories
· An additional 148 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported by a laboratory in Germany
With the latest figures from Germany included, there are now a total of 14,758 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
Saturday’s data from the HPSC related to the position as of midnight on Thursday (13,746 cases) which revealed:
· 44% are male and 55% are female, with 454 clusters involving 2,964 cases
· The median age of confirmed cases is 48 years
· 2,168 cases (16%) have been hospitalised
· Of those hospitalised, 296 cases have been admitted to ICU
· 3,573 cases are associated with healthcare workers
· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 6,934 (50% of all cases) followed by Cork with 979 cases (7%)
· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 52%, close contact accounts for 43%, travel abroad accounts for 5%
All residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-stay care facilities are to be tested for the coronavirus in the next seven to 10 days.
It comes as the spread of the infection in nursing homes has led to 245 deaths.
A census of all deaths in nursing homes and long-stay facilities is also to be carried out this weekend, dating to January 1.
The aim is to determine what level of excess mortality has occurred since the beginning of the year and the onset of the coronavirus crisis.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said the National Public Health Emergency Team endorsed a proposal to increase testing of staff and residents across all long-term residential care settings.
'So what do we do now?" Mark Tyrrell looked across the grave of his father Austin in a deserted Bohernabreena cemetery in Dublin.
My lifelong friend, along with his wife Caroline and brother John Paul, had just completed what is now becoming an all-too-common task of saying goodbye to a loved one as a result of Covid-19.
They did so in silence, isolated from the comforting words and the embrace of loved ones.
The sad journey that brought me to that graveside began last Thursday with a phone call from Mark that I answered in the usual cheery manner. The tone on the other end was empty.
A total of 15,464 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Friday, UK's Department of Health has said, up by 888 from 14,576 the day before.
England: NHS England has announced 784 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 13,918.
Of the 784 new deaths announced on Saturday, 150 occurred on April 17, 320 occurred on April 16 and 101 occurred on April 15
The figures also show 187 of the deaths took place between April 1 and April 14, and the remaining 26 deaths occurred in March, with the earliest new death taking place on March 14.
The figures published on Saturday by NHS England show April 8 currently has the highest total for the most hospital deaths occurring on a single day - 799 - although this could change in future updates.
Northern Ireland: A further 17 people in Northern Ireland have died in hospital settings with coronavirus in the past day, the Public Health Agency said.
This brings the total number of confirmed deaths in hospital settings in the region to 193.
Wales: Public Health Wales has announced 28 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed fatalities in Wales to 534.
Scotland: A total of 893 people who tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland have died, a rise of 56 on Friday's figure, according to the Scottish Government.
The Department of Health said, as of 9am on Saturday, 357,023 people have been tested of which 114,217 tested positive.
Overall, 460,437 tests have concluded, with 21,389 tests on Friday, excluding data from Northern Ireland.
Lockdown has afforded many people extra time in bed but strange dreams and late night twisting and turning are robbing us of the benefits.
Despite all the lie-ins a lot of people are still feeling tired and lacking in energy - but why are adults and young people across the country complaining of poor sleep, having frighteningly vivid dreams and of struggling to get up in the morning?
"It's safe to say what's happening right now is having a bearing on what we're dreaming about," said Motty Varghese, a respiratory therapist and licensed sleep technologist in Dublin.
"We're getting a bit of extra time to sleep in the morning too. But waking at 8am or 8.30am, rather than the usual 7am, could result in an extra cycle of sleep and more rapid eye movement (REM). That could be why people are having strange dreams.
Coffee chain Insomnia has opened three of its coffee shops across Dublin today with takeaway services as part of phased re-opening.
Despite coffee shops not being on the government’s list of essential services which are allowed to stay open during the lockdown, the coffee shop franchise re-opened its Dun Laoghaire, Portmarnock and Blackrock shops today.
However, keeping with government restrictions, the coffee shops will be operating with a takeaway service only.
In a statement to Independent.ie, a spokesperson for the franchise said: "As a registered food business with ancillary takeaway, we are permitted under government guidelines to operate as a takeaway."
China on Saturday reported 27 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, as it tries to stem an upsurge in infections in a north-eastern province bordering Russia.
Twenty of the new cases were in Heilongjiang province, including 13 Chinese nationals who had returned recently from Russia.
The land border with Russia has been closed.
China's official death toll rose sharply to 4,632, reflecting a major upwards revision the previous day by authorities in Wuhan, the nation's hardest-hit city.
The latest confirmed cases brought the total to 82,719, of which 77,029 have recovered and been discharged, the National Health Commission said.
Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 575 on Friday, up from 525 the day before. The number of new cases declined slightly and scientists warned that infections were now mainly happening among family members.
The daily tally of new cases now stands at 3,493, down from a previous 3,786, with both deaths and infections extending the broadly stable situation in place over the last 12 days.
It has the third highest confirmed cases in the world, with 172,434 cases and 22,745 deaths.
Spain has the second highest number of cases in the world, with around 188,000 cases and 20,002 deaths.
Spain's overnight death toll from coronavirus was 585 on Friday, a rise from 551 the previous night but far off early April peaks as the country starts to loosen the terms of its lockdown.
Overnight figures of more than 900 were registered at the height of the outbreak in Spain, among countries worst-hit by the novel coronavirus which causes respiratory disease COVID-19.
Africa now has more than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
A total of 52 of the continent's 54 countries have reported the virus, with the overall number of cases more than 19,800 as of Saturday morning.
The World Health Organisation has noted a 51pc increase in cases in Africa and a 60pc jump in deaths.
But the WHO chief has warned that because of a shortage of testing "it's likely the real numbers are higher than reported".
Reuters report that the British government was too slow to react on several fronts to the novel coronavirus outbreak that could cause the deaths of 40,000 people in the United Kingdom, a leading public health professor told lawmakers on Friday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially refrained from approving the stringent controls that other European leaders imposed but then closed down the country when projections showed a quarter of a million people could die in Britain.
A total of 14,576 deaths have been recorded with 108,692 confirmed cases.
The United States has recorded the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, with more than 680,000 detected infections.
A total of 32,823 deaths have been recorded with 712,184 confirmed cases.
An elderly woman who survived the Blitz during World War II, rationing and repeated economic depressions says she is planning her 97th birthday party after beating Covid-19.
Betty Moody (96) celebrated an heroic homecoming to her adopted home at Moyvane in Kerry after being released from hospital.
Now she is planning an even bigger party to mark her 97th birthday in June. She had spent two weeks in hospital fighting the virus – and issued a brave message of hope that Covid-19 can be beaten.
“When anyone is sick, it is in the mind whether or not they are going to survive,” she said.
“If it is in the mind that they are going to survive, they will survive – that is what I did."
President Donald Trump has insisted deaths from Covid-19 are much higher in China than in the US, despite official statistics painting a far different picture.
China has more than four times the population of the US but has reported far fewer deaths, around 4,600 compared with more than 32,000 in the United States as of late Friday afternoon.
"When I listen to the press every night saying we have the most (deaths) - we don't have the most in the world," Mr Trump told Friday's White House briefing.
"The most in the world has to be China. It's a massive country. It's gone through a tremendous problem with this, a tremendous problem. And they must have the most."
Since the late 1990s there has been a significant fall-off in interest among Irish people Irish fruit and vegetable season from April to October, Keelings have said.
It has come as the companies decision to fly in 189 seasonal workers on a charter flight from Sofia to Dublin during the Covid-19 pandemic sparked a torrent of online abuse.
On Tuesday, the Farming Independent reported that chartered flights could be used to transport up to 1,500 seasonal workers into Ireland to pick fruit and vegetables through the summer and early autumn.
Last night, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar ordered an 'urgent review' of rules involving workers being flown into the country.
The fragility of Ireland's health service has been laid bare as understaffed hospitals struggle with the spread of Covid-19 among workers.
Newly obtained figures show how healthcare workers now make up more than one-quarter of all diagnosed cases.
It comes at the end of a week when two healthcare workers tragically died after testing positive for Covid-19.
Staff shortages have forced some hospital units across the country to close, and officials warn the virus has compounded what was already a serious issue.