No deaths from Covid were reported on Friday, as 144 new infections were detected in the past 24 hours from 55, 413 tests, positivity rate of 0.26 per cent.

The health ministry said 20 people out of 64 hospitalised with Covid were in serious or critical condition. Close to 60 per cent of hospitalised patients were not vaccinated, the ministry said.

Covid has claimed the lives of 557 people since the outbreak in March 2020 with confirmed cases since then reaching 121,136.

Most of the deceased are men, 354. The average age is 76.3.

Of the seriously ill patients, 11 were intubated and nine were being treated in high dependency units.

Of the 144 new cases, 19 were close contacts of previously confirmed cases. They were detected in 323 samples.

Ten infections were found after 2,722 tests at the Republic’s two airports while 30 other cases were among 2,722 samples tested privately.

Two cases were reported by state hospital labs in 195 samples.

Private labs and pharmacies reported 57 cases in 29,971 tested with rapid antigen tests.

Twenty-six cases were detected by the state’s mass screening programme in 20,235 samples.