Despite fresh hopes of a vaccine being available in the spring of next year, Ireland remains in the grip of a second wave of coronavirus.
Saturday saw four more deaths related to Covid-19 recorded in the Republic and an additional 344 cases.
It brings the total number of deaths linked to the virus in the State to 2,022 with 70,143 cases, according to figures from the Department of Health.
There are currently 275 patients in hospital with the virus, with 32 of them in intensive care units.
The positivity rate among people tested for Covid-19 is now at 3.3 per cent, down slightly from previous days. The World Health Organisation recommends the rate should remain below 5 per cent for at least two weeks before public health measures are relaxed.
More than 78,000 tests have been carried out in the State over the past seven days.
The national 14-day incidence rate of the disease is 113.3 cases per 100,000 people.
Donegal is the county with the highest incidence rate at 255 cases per 100,000, down slightly from recent days. Wexford has the lowest rate, at 39.4 cases.
In Europe, only Finland and Iceland have lower incidence rates than Ireland, according to the European Centre for Disease Control.
The Causeway Coast and Glens council district is the worst hit area in the North, with an incidence rate of 499.3 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days.
The next highest rate is in the Mid Ulster area, with 464 cases per 100,000.
On Saturday another 357 people tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland and 10 more deaths were reported, according to the region’s Department of Health.
It is expected the Government will next week finalise the plan for exiting the lockdown and managing the pandemic during December.
The Cabinet will meet on Tuesday and there will be ongoing meetings of the oversight group.
Elsewhere, the first meeting of the State’s Covid vaccine taskforce is scheduled for early next week.
The taskforce is set to focus on issues around the planned vaccine rollout, including the logistical demands associated with storing medicines such as the Pfizer vaccine, which must be kept at an ultra-low temperature.