All of the patients diagnosed with the Omicron variant in Europe so far have either no symptoms or mild symptoms.
The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) said 44 cases of Omicron have been reported by 11 European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries so far.
It said the majority of the cases have a history of travel to African countries with some having taken connecting flights at other destinations between Africa and Europe.
The European disease watchdog said no severe symptoms or deaths have been reported among the cases.
“All cases for which there is information available on severity were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms,” it said.
Eleven suspected Omicron cases in Ireland are currently being analysed in laboratories.
The 10 EU/EEA to have confirmed cases of the variant so far are Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
A case has also been detected in the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion.
Cases have been reported in nine other countries and territories - Australia, Botswana, Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Israel, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Last night, NPHET officials told the three Government party leaders that it will be two weeks before the impact of the new Omicron variant is known.
In the meantime, they said Ireland’s COVID rates appear to be stabilising.
From Friday all passengers arriving into the Republic will need to show a negative COVID test – regardless of their vaccine status.