THE COVID-19 incidence rate in Ireland is currently twice as high as the average rate across the European Union.
According to data released by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), Ireland's incidence rate per 100,000 of populations stands at 367.8.
That compares to an average of just 150.6 across the Eu and the European Economic Area.
Overall, Ireland has the seventh-highest incidence rate in the continent, behind Lithuania (789), Estonia (658), Romania (631), Latvia (580), Slovenia (571) and Croatia (410).
At the other end, Poland has the continent's lowest incidence rate at just 34. Spain's rate stands at 63.1, Italy has a rate of 77, and Portugal’s is slightly higher at 87.
In terms of deaths from the virus per 100,000, Ireland's rate (14) is below the EU average (18).
The recent spike in Covid-19 case numbers in Ireland is becoming a real concern and has put Freedom Day on October 22 in genuine jeopardy.
Speaking to reporters outside Government Buildings on Wednesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin revealed the battle against Covid has recently "taken a wrong turn," and stressed that rising case numbers were "a matter of concern".
"The trajectory of the disease has taken a wrong turn. There has been a surge, what's been described as a sudden increase in the last week in terms of case numbers," he said.
"There was a meeting of senior officials this morning chaired by my Secretary General, and the presentation from Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn was a serious one."
When asked if he could guarantee that Freedom Day would still be going ahead as planned, the Taoiseach replied: "I can't guarantee right now, but we have to wait for further presentations from NPHET, but no decisions were made or anything like that."