Health officials have announced a further 1,408 COVID cases this afternoon – the highest daily figure since January 30th.
This morning, there were 152 coronavirus patients in Irish hospitals - a 58% increase on this day last week.
There were 26 in hospital, which is up four on last week.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said nine deaths have been reported since the last weekly update on July 21st.
A total of 11 deaths are reported to have occurred in June and ten in July.
The official death toll is now 5,035.
The five-day moving average has fallen slightly to 1248 cases per day, while the 14-day incidence is 255 cases per 100,000 people.
Speaking at the briefing, the Chair of NPHET’s modelling group Professor Philip Nolan said daily cases rates could double by mid-August.
“Our best estimate of the underlying growth rate at the moment is 4% per day – but the confidence intervals on that are very wide, it could be anywhere between 2% and 6% per day.
“That means the epidemic could double over the next 17 days but again the estimate around that is very wide.
“It could be anywhere between 10, which is unlikely and 45 days, which is also unlikely.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan noted that around 2% of the country’s cases are currently ending up in hospital.
“We know that we would be experiencing many more cases and hospitalisations were it not for the great progress being made in taking up vaccination,” he said.
“We need to keep this up as we move to vaccinate the remaining, mostly younger, cohorts of our population.
“The more people vaccinated in this country, the less opportunity COVID-19 has to inflict severe illness and disruption on us. If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination and have yet to register, please do so as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, the Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory Dr Cillian De Gascun said more than 90% of cases in Ireland are now caused by the Delta variant.