Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said Ireland is seeing the first signs of progress as 3,569 new cases of Covid-19 and 63 additional deaths were recorded on Wednesday.
According to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), five of these deaths occurred in November, one occurred in December and the remaining 56 occurred in January 2021.
The date of death for one reported death remains under investigation.
Of Wednesday's cases, 1,616 were men, 1,924 were women and 54 per cent were under the age of 45.
The country's 14-day incidence rate is now 1,448.8 and there are currently 1,770 people in hospital with the virus, 172 of whom are being treated in ICUs.
Dublin accounted for 1,119 of the day's cases, with 416 in Cork, 200 in Galway, 182 in Louth and 169 in Waterford. The remaining 1,483 cases were spread across all remaining counties.
Dr Holohan said there was progress being made with daily case numbers and positivity rates, but the country must continue its efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.
"We can take some hope in them, but we have a long, long way to go. In the coming weeks ahead, we will need to draw upon our reserves of resilience from springtime as we can expect to see hospitalisations, admissions to ICU and mortality related to Covid-19 increase day on day.
"The best way that we can all support one another now is to stay apart. Sadly, what we are seeing now is a result of the very high daily confirmed case numbers we experienced for successive weeks.
"To ensure our hospitals and loved ones remain protected, and stay alive to receive the vaccine, please continue to follow public health advice and stay home,” Dr Holohan urged.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) January 13, 2021
In the North, 1,145 cases of the virus were confirmed today and 19 additional deaths. There are also 869 patients being treated for the virus in hospitals in Northern Ireland, with 56 in ICUs.
Earlier today, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly signed the authorisation for the use of the Moderna vaccine in Ireland following its approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The first doses of the Moderna jab arrived in the country yesterday, with Ireland due to receive almost 880,000 doses under the US drugmakers agreement with the EU.
Unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine currently being administered in the Republic, which needs to be stored between -70 and -80 degrees, the Moderna vaccine can be stored at -20 degrees, making it easier to distribute in more remote settings.