A HEALTH care worker is among the victims of covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed.
Mr Varadkar was speaking in a televised address to the nation on Friday night, 27 March, where he set out new measures to slow the spread of the virus, including exercise to be done only within 2km of a person's home and implementing 'cocooning' for the vulnerable and those over the age of 70.
In the address, he thanked the public for adhering to the Government guidelines so far, saying "by doing so, you are saving lives and protecting our health service and its staff".
Mr Varadkar's speech came following the news that three further people had died in the Republic of Ireland after contracting Covid-19.
In his speech, Mr Varadkar confirmed that one of these patients was a health care worker.
He offered his condolences to the loved ones of all those who passed, saying:
"Tonight, I want to speak to you about the next stage in our national response to the Coronavirus Emergency.
"Before I do so, I want to express my condolences to the families and friends of those who passed away today – one of whom was a health care worker."
On the day of Mr Varadkar's speech, the most up-to-date figures indicated that 375 out of 1,639 confirmed cases of coronavirus were health care workers: a total of 22.8%.
The current most up-to-date analysis, as of midnight 27 March, revealed that 506 out of 2,216 confirmed cases are health workers, maintaining the percentage of 22.8%.
Schools, businesses and charities have been donating Personal Protective Equipment to hospitals and nursing homes across the country in order to better protect health care workers on the front lines.