A further 60 deaths and an additional 3,231 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed this evening by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).
They said of today's confirmed deaths, 59 occurred in January while one death occurred in December 2020.
With 60 deaths this evening, there has been a total of 2,595 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. With a further 3,231 cases tonight there is now a total of 169,780 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.
Nphet said that of the cases notified today: 1,465 are men and 1,712 are women, 54 per cent are under 45 years of age and the median age is 42 years old.
Regarding the location of tonight's cases: 931 cases are in Dublin, 388 in Cork, 238 in Louth, 155 in Waterford, 151 in Limerick, and the remaining 1,368 cases are spread across all other counties.
They said as of 2pm today, 1,854 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised of which 191 are in ICU. There have also been 119 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Speaking about tonight's figures Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said: “This virus has taken root in every single part of the country.
“A significant percentage of the population - in excess of 1 in 10 in some counties - is currently either a case or a close contact.
“This is a huge burden of infection. When you consider that a significant percentage of our daily cases will directly lead to hospitalisation and mortality, the urgency with which we need to act becomes clear.
“By staying at home, you are protecting our health and social care services as they struggle against the enormous burden of infection that many weeks with thousands of daily cases of Covid-19 represents.”
Meanwhile, Dr Cillian De Gascun, medical virologist and director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said: “Due to the nature of the mutation found in the UK variant of the virus, it is inevitable that it will become the dominant variant here in Ireland over time.
“The UK variant has adapted to us: simply put, it is better at moving from person to person when we come into contact. So what we must do is reduce its opportunities to spread by cutting out socialising."
He told people to stay home, do not visit anyone else’s home and also not to attend any illegal gatherings.
He added“Remember the simple and effective measures from springtime – wash your hands well and often, wear a mask, cough and sneeze into your elbow, keep 2 metres of space from others, and phone your GP at the very first sign of Covid-19 symptoms."