Another 4,650 new Covid cases have been reported today as the number of people in hospital with the virus continues to rise.
There are now 643 people in hospital with Covid, up 20% on last week and 40% on two weeks ago.
Of those in hospital, 118 are being treated in intensive care.
The figures come as HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid said this afternoon that the situation within hospitals and the overall health system is “very serious.”
He added the current wave was putting an “inconceivable strain on the health system” across all levels of care they provide.
“Just to give you a flavour of some of the information on ICU admissions between 27 June and 13 November, there were 476 ICU admissions in that period of Covid-19 positive patients, of which just over 20% remain in ICU. Just over 54% have been discharged and over 25% sadly passed away in ICU,” he said.
Mr Reid told the HSE’s weekly briefing that testing levels at the moment are “beyond anybody’s expectations”, adding that in the last seven days over 200,000 tests have been carried out.
Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry told the briefing that cases at the moment are predominantly in younger age groups, with 51% of cases in the last two weeks occurring in people under 35 years of age.