The number of cases of COVID-19 in the Republic has exceeded 200,000, it has been confirmed.
A further 1,318 cases of the virus have been confirmed, brining the total number of cases here to 200,744.
A further 75 deaths were also announced, 46 of which occurred in February, 27 in January and two in 2020. This brings the total number of deaths here to 3,586.
Among the 75 deaths, the median age of those who died was 84 years and the age range was 34-100.
As of 2pm on Thursday, there were 1,284 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in hospital, 188 of whom were in ICU. There had been an additional 74 hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
The Department of Health's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, described the 200,000+ cases as "a significant and unwelcome milestone".
"We must all redouble our efforts and drive down the incidence of disease in our community. We are noticing a clear pattern in people with symptoms delaying contacting their GP to arrange a test.
"It is vital that as soon as you notice that you have symptoms of COVID-19 that you isolate and contact your GP immediately. By acting quickly, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our vulnerable loved ones," he said.
According to the chair of NPHET's Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, Prof Philip Nolan, the next few weeks will be "difficult for all of us".
"As we bring the daily case levels below 1,000 per day, our progress will seem to slow down. It is now more important than ever that we continue our efforts to bring case numbers down towards the very low levels we achieved in June and July. In that regard, it is very good news that our estimates of the R number are well below one - in the region of 0.5-0.8," he explained.
He said that he noted last week that the testing of close contacts again will impact on case numbers in the coming days, but he said that people "shouldn't be disappointed by this".
"It shows that we have moved from the mitigation phase of the last few weeks, back to the containment phase where we are tracking down every possible chain of transmission," he noted.
More information on the latest figures in relation to COVID-19, including the number of people vaccinated so far, is available here.
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