There has been an additional 448 cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland.
As of 8am today, 44 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 14 are in ICU. There have been 12 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Up to June 30, there were a total of 272,336 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland and 4,998 deaths.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said: “We are all concerned about the rapidly changing transmission arising from the Delta variant. However, we know that the basic public health measures will work in protecting people. And we know that all the vaccines offer significant protection against transmitting the disease and in how severe it is for those who pick it up.
We must not forget to keep up the basic measures; wash hands, wear a mask where appropriate, avoid crowds, meet outdoors, keep distance and take a vaccine when it is offered to you.
"These remain the vital protections for those who are awaiting their turn to be vaccinated.”
Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, Professor Philip Nolan, said: “We have seen an increase in incidence over the last ten days, raising the concern that we are in the early phase of an increase driven by the Delta variant. Incidence is growing at 2% per day, reproduction number is now above 1; estimated at 1.0 to 1.2.
Delta is much more transmissible, and it is vital we continue the basic measures to prevent transmission while the vaccination programme rapidly gives us all protection from the virus.
Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, Dr Cillian De Gascun, said the prevalence of Delta in the community “is increasing, but its effect on hospitalisations and severe illness is still emerging”.
“We do know it is the most transmissible strain of Covid-19 to date. Emerging evidence from the UK shows Delta roughly doubled the risk of hospitalisation. As proven throughout the pandemic, monitoring evidence and timely action protects us all,” he said.