Seven new cases of coronavirus were confirmed late on Thursday in the Republic of Ireland

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland more than doubled on Thursday, March 5 after seven new cases were confirmed late in the day.

Public health officials confirmed the new cases in a press briefing on Thursday, March 5:

Department of Health briefing on Covid-19, as seven new cases of #coronavirus are confirmed |

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 5, 2020

Read More: Four new cases of coronavirus confirmed in west of Ireland

In the wake of the new cases, Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, said: “Ireland remains in containment phase with just one case of community transmission. This is, however, a rapidly evolving situation. Public health doctors are working hard to ensure our containment measures are operating effectively.

“Most people who become infected with Covid-19 experience a mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for some.

“However, this will need a national effort. Every individual needs to be aware of how to protect their own health and the health of others.”

The Irish government also said on Thursday: "There have been 7 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), bringing the total in the country to 13.

"4 males in the east of the country are associated with travel from Northern Italy. 2 of the new cases are females from the east and were in close contact with existing COVID-19 patients.

"1 patient is receiving care in an isolation unit in Cork University Hospital. All outpatient appointments scheduled in the hospital for Friday, 6th March, have been cancelled as part of infection control measures."

There are now thirteen confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland: Seven were confirmed on Thursday, four on Wednesday, one on Tuesday, and one on Saturday.

Read More: Second case of coronavirus confirmed in Republic of Ireland

Cork hospitals restrict visitor access

Prior to the Department of Health’s confirmation about the new cases, two hospitals in Co Cork had posted visitor restriction notices.

Cork University Hospital said in a statement: "Strict visitor restrictions have been introduced with immediate effect at Cork University Hospital due to Infection Control concerns.

"This is in the interest of patient care and in order to prevent the spread of infections within the hospital. Anyone with any queries about visiting times or visiting a particular ward should ring the hospital on Tel: 021 – 4922000. We regret any inconvenience caused to patients and relatives by these necessary measures, which are being taken in the interests of patient care.

"All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of infection.

"Management at the South/South West Hospital Group have requested that where appropriate the public contact their GP/Southdoc in the first instance and explore all other options available to them prior to presenting to Emergency Departments in the city if their needs are not urgent."

CUH also canceled all outpatient appointments for March 6:

All outpatient appointments in CUH have been cancelled for tomorrow Friday 6th March - patients will be contacted and rescheduled as soon as possible. Strict visiting restrictions remain in place. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

— Cork University Hosp (@CUH_Cork) March 5, 2020

Mater Private Cork hospital said in a statement: “Mater Private Cork is not a designated receiving hospital for suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus. The designated hospitals in Cork, as per HSE and HPSC are Cork University Hospital (CUH) and Mercy Hospital.

“As a precaution, on the advice of experts and in the interest of patient safety, Mater Private Cork is restricting visitor access until further notice.

“All patient appointments will continue as normal.

“GPs are advised to follow HPSC and Public Health guidance and the national guideline algorithm for primary care, with the advisory services and first point of contact for suspected novel coronavirus in the community being Public Health HSE South.”

Read More: First case of coronavirus confirmed in the Republic of Ireland