The first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Ireland.
NPHET says the case was related to travel from a country in southern Africa.
He says it was identified from a sample taken within the last week.
Officials say while only one Omicron case has been identified so far, there may be more cases in the country which have not been discovered yet.
Eight potential cases have been examined so far and one positive case identified.
In a statement, CMO Dr Tony Holohan said: “The key focus for all of us must be to continue to supress the current wave of infection that is driven by the Delta variant of COVID-19.
"We know how to break the chains of transmission of this virus.
"The measures with which we are all so familiar have worked against previous variants of COVID-19, they can successfully supress transmission of the Delta variant and we are optimistic that they will work against the Omicron variant.”
Much is still unknown about the new variant.
While it is feared it could be more transmissible than other COVID-19 strains, this has not yet been confirmed.
The ECDC yesterday said all the patients diagnosed with the variant in Europe so far have had either no symptoms or mild symptoms.
Officials here are continuing to advise against travel to and from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe due to concerns over the variant.
Anyone who arrives from those countries will be required to quarantine at home for two weeks.