A further 14 people with coronavirus have died in the Republic of Ireland, bringing the total number of deaths to 36.

Meanwhile the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has now risen to 2,415 in the Republic.

It comes as Gardai stepped up their patrols on Saturday to “encourage” people to follow the latest coronavirus measures.

A new clampdown on movement came into force in the Republic at midnight on Friday.

The restrictions were ordered by the Irish government amid fears that critical care hospitals will soon be overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases.

People have been ordered to remain in their homes in all but a limited set of specific circumstances until 12 April.

In a statement, An Garda Síochána said it has “started a major nationwide policing operation focused on supporting public compliance with public health measures”.

It said there will be “high visibility patrolling by Garda members” over the weekend, involving thousands of officers.

Commissioner Drew Harris said: "An Garda Síochána’s priority is keeping people safe and that will continue this weekend.

“There will be a major policing plan across the country with high visibility of Garda members at key locations.

"It is vital that people adhere to the social distancing guidelines. This will reduce the spread of Covid-19 and save lives.

“The vast majority of people are complying with the guidelines and we want that to continue this weekend.

“By all of us working together, we can flatten the curve and keep our loved ones safe.”

Meanwhile the Irish health minister says the new restrictions on public life in Ireland will not be sustainable for a long period.

Simon Harris expressed hope there could be some relaxation of the measures after an initial two-week period of enforcement.

However, he has warned that life will not be returning to normal in the short term.

Simon Harris said admissions to intensive care units are expected to rise significantly over the next week with people already infected with Covid-19.

"But we would expect, and our medical advisers would expect, that these measures that we've put in place could start to slow down that curve in about 10 days to two weeks, that's what we're working towards," the health minister told RTÉ Radio One.

"Will we be in a position on the 12th of April where life in Ireland will return to normal? Absolutely not and let's be honest with each other.

"And these are measures that we're going to need to continue to work on.

"Do we hope to be in a position in two weeks' time to say that we've made progress and some of the measures can be tweaked, removed, changed? Absolutely.

"The measures that we put in place last night are so significant that they cannot be kept in place for too long.

"You cannot ask people to sustain this for a very long period. That's why we are really asking people to double down now for the next two weeks, it's going to be tough."

People in the Republic are allowed to leave home for travel to or from work deemed to be essential, food shopping, medical appointments, brief exercise, farming activity and vital family reasons.

All people over the age of 70, and other people considered vulnerable to the disease, have been told to "cocoon" for the two-week period and not leave home at all.

Non-essential surgery, health procedures and other non-essential health services are being postponed.

All public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.

Social visits to relatives beyond the family unit at home are not allowed.

People who leave their homes for exercise are required to stay within a 2km radius.

A list of work and businesses considered to be essential is due to be published over the weekend.

Simon Harris acknowledged it was a stressful and worrying time.

"But we do have to strip back all of the noise and actually remind each other what we're trying to do here, we're trying to keep each other alive and we're trying to make sure we don't go the way that some other European countries have done," he said.

"When we look back on this, and we will look back at this at some point and we will get through this at some point, we want to be able to say that the measures we all took together were really tough but helped keep people alive and well."