Public health officials have reported an additional 4,791 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
As of 8am on Saturday, there were 536 Covid-19 patients hospitalised nationally, of which 118 were being treated in intensive care.
There were 48 Covid-19 positive patients in hospitals across Cork, according to the latest HSE Covid-19 Daily Operations Update Acute Hospitals report.
As of 8pm on Friday, November 26, there were 30 patients with Covid-19 in Cork University Hospital (CUH) and 18 in the Mercy University Hospital (MUH).
There were 13 people with Covid-19 in ICU at CUH and two Covid positive patients in ICU at MUH.
In Cork, there were 3,738 cases of Covid-19 recorded in the seven-day period from November 19 to November 25.
The seven-day incidence rate per 100,00 population was 688.6.
In the 14-day period from November 12 to midnight on November 25, there were a total of 6,902 cases recorded in Cork with an incidence rate of 1,271.4.
It comes as National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) member Dr Cillian de Gascun said there is no reason to believe “at this stage” that vaccines will not be effective against the new variant of the virus or that anti-viral medicines will not work against it.
However, The Irish Times reports that Dr de Gascun said there was reason for concern because the variant “might have an impact on an antibody response and it contains other mutations that have not been seen before”.
“Because it is so far removed from the original virus there could be more infections and have an impact on those who have been vaccinated,” he said.
The Omicron variant has been designated the fifth coronavirus variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO), with early evidence suggesting it has an increased re-infection risk.
The Department of Health has been monitoring the emergence of the new variant (B.1.1.529), of SARS-CoV-2 which has been identified in a number of countries.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that he is deeply concerned about the emergence of the new variant.