"Very serious" situation as almost 6,000 new Covid cases recorded
There are currently 640 Covid-19 patients in Irish hospitals.
The Department of Health has been notified of 5,959 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
The number of patients in hospital with the virus is 640, which is three less than hospital figures yesterday.
In Northern Ireland, 1,846 cases of the virus were confirmed, and six deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours.
RTÉ reports that the number of ICU patients is up three, with 121 Covid-19 patients being treated in the intensive care unit.
Earlier today, Dr Cillian de Gascun, who is the Chair of NPHET's Expert Advisory Group and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, described the caseload as "very serious in many respects".
On RTÉ's Saturday with Justin McCarthy, Dr de Gascun said: "We know that the public health measures that people have been practising over the last two years will be effective against this virus.
"The problem is that we have to do them better and do them for a longer period of time to get the same benefit with Delta as we would have had with the original virus back in 2020, and even with Alpha around the start of the new year."
He later added: "If we do that across the board as a society, and continue to practice public health measures, then we can bring this back under control, because we know that the boosters will have an effect."
Dr de Gascun's comments come just days after new measures were introduced to help slow the spread of the virus.
The Government has urged people to work from home where possible, while bars, nightclubs and restaurants must now close their doors at midnight.
Rules regarding household contacts have also been changed. From now on, fully vaccinated household contacts of confirmed cases must restrict their movements until they have three negative antigen tests within five days.
Feature image: Leah Farrell ©RollingNews.ie