DUBLIN, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Ireland reported 344 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the country's caseload to 70,143, according to the Irish Department of Health.
Four more people died from COVID-19, bringing the death toll in the country to 2,022, said the department in a statement.
According to the department, there are currently 269 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals across the country, of whom 32 are in intensive care units.
Earlier this week, Tony Holohan, chief medical officer of the Department of Health, said that he was increasingly concerned that the positive trends emerging recently had not been maintained.
According to Holohan, the five-day moving average of daily cases in Ireland had increased from an average of 350 cases on Nov. 11 to 424 on Nov. 17.
Since then, there is no obvious improvement of the situation with the daily cases in the country still averaging nearly 370 in the past five days, according to official statistics.
The Irish government is continuing discussions over the weekend on what COVID-19 restrictions should be in place when the current Level-5 or the highest level restrictions expire at the end of this month, reported the Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE.
The report quoted government sources as saying that Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin wants the country to exit Level-5 restrictions on Dec. 1.
But no decision has been made though there is a growing expectation that the country will move to Level-3 restrictions next month, said the report.
Ireland moved to Level-5 restrictions on midnight of Oct. 21 following an outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic in the country.
Under Level-5 restrictions, the entire country is virtually under a lockdown with minimum movement of people and economic activities being allowed.