A further 4,607 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State today.
As of 8am today, there are 579 coronavirus patients in Irish hospitals with 115 in intensive care.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Our high incidence of disease from Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on our health service. We are still seeing a concerning number of people who are in hospital and require critical care for Covid-19. This wave of infection is driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19.
“We know that the news of the Omicron variant is causing some concern. However, we also know how to break the chains of transmission of Covid-19 – these measures have worked against previous variants of Covid-19, they can successfully suppress transmission of the Delta variant, and we are optimistic that they will work against the Omicron variant."
Dr Holohan went on to appeal to the public to follow key public health measures:
- Wear a mask correctly.
- Meet outside if possible.
- Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Practise good hand and respiratory hygiene.
Dr Holohan added: “Be mindful of your contacts in the days after socialising, and especially consider anyone you meet who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to Covid-19.
“It is vital that if you experience and symptoms of Covid-19 that you isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test – not an antigen test."
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Helen McEntee has said she expects the Cabinet will agree to advise people to continue restricting their movements to help reduce the number of Covid cases.
Ms McEntee said ministers will meet this week to discuss advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).
Nphet is meeting party leaders to discuss the Omicron Covid variant and its impact on health advice in Ireland.
The Cabinet will meet on Tuesday and are expected to agree a number of measures, including restrictions on school playdates, birthday parties and school gatherings. - Additional reporting from Press Association