NPHET believes the country is "beginning to turn a corner" in tackling the current wave of Covid-19 - but that hospitals will remain under threat in the weeks ahead.
A further 8 deaths linked to the virus were confirmed last night with 4,929 new cases.
One in 76 people across the country has tested positive for the disease in the past two weeks.
Overnight there were 1,620 patients in hospital with the virus and 144 in intensive care.
The World Health Organisation says the 'massive' surge in cases here is not due to a new variant.
Speaking at a virtual event last night, Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme said the new variants have given the virus “new energy.”
He insisted however that Ireland’s surging rates are “mainly due to increase social mixing and reduction of physical distancing” over Christmas.
Around 45% of recent cases in Ireland have shown the presence of the UK variant, according to recent sampling.
WHO’s Dr Mike Ryan says new variant did not drive the coronavirus surge in Ireland - saying it was mainly down to increased socialisation. But praises the response of the country in recent weeks in trying to bring the situation back under control. pic.twitter.com/eBmV8Hfo7b
— Stephen McNeice (@maccytothedee) January 11, 2021