There have been 2,399 new cases of Covid-19 reported this evening.
This is the highest daily toll of cases since January 21 when there were 2,608 cases.
As of 8am today, there were 473 Covid-19 patients hospitalised, of which 74 are in ICU.
The five-day moving average of cases has now climbed to 1,890 today, while Nphet yesterday advised health minister Stephen Donnelly that the national 14-day incidence stands at 466 cases per 100,000 people.
This comes as Nphet refused to rule out a return to more restrictive public health measures such as lockdowns if current measures do not have a “sufficient effect” on the profile of Covid-19.
The public’s compliance with basic public health measures will be “critical” in avoiding a return to more restrictive measures once again, Nphet said in their letter to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly on Monday night.
“The NPHET cautions that the re-imposition of public health restrictive measures may be warranted should the application of the above measures not have sufficient effect on the profile of disease,” the letter signed by Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said.
This comes just days after Taoiseach Micheál Martin told Independent.ie the Government will not be reintroducing restrictions to curb the surge in Covid-19 cases, which is once again putting a significant strain on hospitals and ICUs around the country.
Mr Martin said: “We do not want to go back, and we are not contemplating going backwards. The only issue facing us now is going forward.”
Government is hoping an extension of the vaccination ‘booster’ programme to over-60s, and a new initiative to encourage unvaccinated people to get the jab will rule out a return to restrictions once again.
A ramping up of spot-check inspections in pubs and restaurants to stem the rise of Covid will also take place in the coming weeks.
In their letter to Minister Donnelly, Nphet reinforced their view that it’s unlikely that vaccination alone will bring the reproduction number of Covid-19 below 1 and effectively suppress the new coronavirus.
An avoidance of further restrictions on the future remains dependent upon “public understanding and buy-in to the basic public health measures in order to minimise opportunities for this virus to transmit,” Nphet said.