Five more deaths related to COVID-19 have been confirmed by the NPHET this evening – however four of these deaths occurred a few months ago.
Sixty-nine new cases have also been confirmed today, taking the total number of cases in the Republic to 26,372.
There have been no new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Galway, meaning the total number of cases in the county remains 498.
Of the 69 new cases reported today, 37 are men and 31 are women. A majority (65%) are under 45 years of age.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, said: “Over the past fourteen days, 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. These represent almost half of all cases in Ireland over that time period.
“While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region.
“NPHET continues to monitor the situation closely. I urge people in these counties to remain vigilant to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in these areas.”
Professor Philip Nolan added: “We have seen a significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 over the past week.
“The reproduction number for the virus is now estimated to be 1.8. A reproduction number of almost 2 is a serious concern, and although we have not yet seen a significant increase in community transmission, there is a significant risk this could develop over the coming days and weeks emphasising the need for each of us to be extremely cautious that we do not contribute to the transmission of the virus.”