There has been a record 93 more Covid-19 related deaths reported and 2,001 new cases in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of Health confirmed today.
This brings the total number of cases in the state to 176,839 and the total number of Covid-19 related fatalities to 2,708.
Of the deaths reported today, three occurred in December and 89 in January.
The median age of those who died was 82 years and the age range was 41-99 years.
There are no newly reported deaths in healthcare workers and no newly reported deaths in a young person under the age of 30.
As of 2pm today, 1,949 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 202 were in ICU at 11am.
There has been 100 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Speaking about today’s figures, CMO Dr Tony Holohan said “we are very sadly reporting an additional 93 deaths today.”
He added: “We cannot afford to drop our guard against the very high levels of infection that remain in the community at present.
“Covid-19 ICU and hospitalisation numbers are of critical concern to us, representing a very significant pressure on our healthcare workers and on the provision of acute medical and surgical non-Covid care.
“We need everyone to stay at home, other than for essential reasons. The more that each individual follows this advice in their everyday lives, the more we can drive down the spread of Covid-19 and minimise the impact on vital healthcare services, patients and frontline workers.”
It is anticipated that the EMA will authorise the vaccine for use in the EU on January 29.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has been in talks with the company to secure shipments of the vaccine into Ireland before this date so that they are ready to deploy as soon as the EMA grant authorisation. However, it is far from certain this advance shipment will be possible.
“It’s believed that GPs and pharmacists will do about half of all vaccinations this year and are a very important group,” Mr Donnelly said on RTÉ News at One.
The Minister confirmed that Ireland is still on target to hit 140,000 vaccinations by this Sunday “in spite of Ireland seeing a 50pc reduction in the doses delivered by Pfizer this week”.
Mr Donnelly confirmed that Ireland achieved 94,000 vaccinations on Sunday and said the target is to have approximately 700,000 people vaccinated in 10 weeks’ time.
The Covid-19 data hub shows Ireland has just 77,000 vaccinations complete and the Minister says that he would like to see this updated daily but that figures will only be updated bi-weekly for now. He also disclosed the 3,900 people will receive their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine this week.
The Minister said there was a “bit of a lag” in the reporting of figures due to reasons such as vaccinations having to be reported manually as “some nursing homes don’t have sufficient Wi-Fi or 4G” to do so digitally.