Almost half of all recorded cases of Covid-19 in the Irish Republic have been reported in the past fortnight.

Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Prof Philip Nolan said that 44% of all cases were recorded in the last two weeks.

He was speaking at a briefing on Thursday.

The Republic of Ireland is experiencing a surge of cases and in the last two weeks one in every 67 people was told they were positive for Covid-19.

On Monday it was confirmed that Ireland had the world’s highest number of confirmed new Covid-19 cases per million people.

The Irish Department of Health recorded 28 more Covid-19 related deaths and 3,955 more cases on Thursday.

Of the new cases, 54% were in people under the age of 45.

There are currently 169 patients with Covid-19 being treated in intensive care units in the country and 154 more people have been admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that of the 208 people who had died with the disease in January, 23 cases had been linked to outbreaks in hospitals and 38 with outbreaks in nursing homes.

The ages of those who have died range from 25 to 98 years.

“Every death associated with Covid-19 is a tragedy,” said Dr Holohan.

“We must cut our social contacts in order to break the chains of transmission and protect those who are most vulnerable to this disease. Stay at home and save lives.”