A new study has found that Covid-19 was circulating in Ireland long before health officials confirmed the first case.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Virology, suggests that the first infection arrived in Ireland on February 17, 2020.
However, health officials reported the initial case of the virus here two weeks later, on February 29.
It was also found that people in Dublin had significantly higher antibody levels compared to the rest of the country.
However, two years on, according to the latest statistics published by the HPSC, Dublin is now within the top ten counties that are recording the highest incidence rate of infection over the past 14 days.
The same figures showed that Carlow has the highest incidence rate of infection for the 14 days between November 22 and December 5.
Making up the top three worst-hit counties are Westmeath with 1909.4 and Longford which is at 1619.7.
Among the top ten areas recording the highest 14-day incidence rates are: Tipperary with a rate of 1516.7, Laois with 1458.1, Dublin is at 1457.5, Louth has 1440.8, Kildare has reported 1424.2, Waterford 1378.9, and Kilkenny has a rate of 1365.5.
Meanwhile, the counties that are coping the best with coronavirus are: Mayo at just 958.6, Leitrim has 967.4, Limerick is at 975.4, Cavan at 1008.2, and Donegal has reported 1023.9.
On Thursday evening, health officials reported 4,022 new cases of the virus over the past 24 hours.
530 people are now in hospital receiving treatment for the virus, as of 8:00 am on Thursday- 115 of whom are in Intensive Care Units.
This marks a decrease of 13 in hospital admissions and a decline of 3 in the ICU.