Nearly 24,000 people in Ireland are known to have had Covid-19 last week, although the true figure is unclear and likely to be much higher.
The Irish Independent is reporting a total of 10,435 had a positive PCR test, now confined to limited at-risk groups, and 13,059 registered as positive with the HSE after a home antigen test.
The real extent of infection remains unknown, but scientists believe the BA.4 and BA.5 variants circulating have a growth advantage of around 35pc higher than previous forms of Omicron, making it much more infectious.
The number of patients with Covid-19 in hospital reached 697 yesterday and looks set to pass the 700 mark, although there are hopes the summer wave may have peaked or is about to peak.
Of those in hospital, 21 were in intensive care with Covid-19, with figures for that category remaining steady throughout this wave.
The west Kerry Gaeltacht Corca Dhuibhne, Newport in Tipperary and Cappaghmore in Limerick were the local electoral areas with the highest incidence of Covid-19 over 14 days recorded by the country’s disease watchdog in its latest report.
The report, which refers to the end of May, when the new Covid-19 variants were on the rise, shows cases per 100,000 over 14 days in remote west Kerry numbered 345.5.
This was followed by Newport in Tipperary, Limerick city, Tralee, Waterford city, Tullamore and Listowel in Kerry.