50 deaths related to COVID-19 have been confirmed this evening along with 3498 new cases.
All of these 50 deaths occurred in January 2021.
The median age of those who died was 82 years, and the age range was 45-96 years.
There was no newly reported death in healthcare workers.
There was no newly reported death in a young person under the age of 30.
There has been a total of 2,536 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
In the South-East, Waterford has the highest amount of new cases with 164, with the county now standing fourth highest on the 14-day incidence rate ranking, a place ahead of Wexford who have had 79 new confirmed cases.
Tipperary has also had 79 new cases, while Carlow with 44 and Kilkenny with 41 are the counties with the lowest case numbers in the region.
As of 2pm today, 1,850 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised of which 184 are in ICU.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: "New variants of COVID-19 have recently been identified in Brazil, and in travellers to Japan from Brazil. There is no evidence of these variants in Ireland.”
"Anyone who has travelled from Brazil in the last 14 days is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of arrival, and identify themselves, through a GP, for testing as soon as possible.”
“It is essential that anyone arriving from Brazil self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival before entering/re-entering the workplace. We are particularly appealing to employers to enable their employees to protect each other by staying at home for the full 14 days.”
"Further risk assessment of the new variants is expected from the ECDC in the coming week. We must all continue to adhere to every element of the public health advice. This remains our best defence against COVID-19.”
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “We have worked exceptionally hard in recent weeks to reduce our close contacts. At the end of December, the number of close contacts per confirmed case peaked at approximately 6. That has now dropped to 2.3 contacts. This enormous effort is the reason we are seeing case numbers beginning to fall.”
“We know that it is extremely difficult to keep our close contacts to a minimum, particularly over an extended period of time. But this is the main way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19. Again today, we are reporting the highest number of people with COVID-19 to date in our hospitals. We must stay home to protect ourselves and each other.”