HSE director general Paul Reid has said he is “cautiously hopeful” that the number of Covid hospitalisations is levelling out.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, he said that ICU numbers were also holding, but that it would be next week before it could be determined that figures were lowering.
In recent days the number of people being referred by GPs for PCR tests had gone down, he said.
However, he warned of the “lag effect” which had yet to be felt.
There was still a high positivity rate of 50 per cent, he added.
In the past week 305,000 PCR tests had been administered and 350,000 antigen tests dispersed with antigen tests now playing “a core part” of the HSE’s strategy.
Hospitals were “managing” through “this difficult time”, but there was a “strain” on non Covid services he acknowledged.