Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid has said frontline clinical and nursing teams say they are under increasing strain as the number of people hospitalised due to Covid-19 continues to climb.
However, he said, staff say no one should feel guilty about getting Covid-19 or needing their care.
The number of reported cases of Covid-19 has dropped in recent days since over 8,200 cases were reported last Friday.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that while we can take some hope from the daily case numbers and lower test positivity rates there is a long way to go.
He said people will have to draw on their reserves of resilience in the coming weeks while hospitalisations, admissions to intensive care units and deaths related to Covid-19 continue to increase.
More than 1,800 patients are being treated for Covid-19 in hospital around the country, with almost one in ten of them in ICU.
Dr Holohan urged anyone who might have non-Covid issues not to ignore worrying signs such as lumps, chest pain, or other symptoms, and to phone their GP if they have any concerns.
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The Department of Health yesterday reported 63 more Covid-related deaths, with five of those deaths occurring in November, one in December, and the remainder this month.
The Department was also notified of 3,569 new cases of Covid-19.
There have now been a total of 2,460 Covid-related deaths in Ireland, and 159,144 confirmed cases.
Talking to many of our frontline clinical & nursing teams today, they again relayed the increasing strain that they are under. But they also stress that nobody should feel guilty about getting #COVID19 or needing their care. They restate they are their for us. #proud @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) January 13, 2021
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has indicated that up to four million people could be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of September.
In a letter to TDs, he said the current plan is to to vaccinate 700,000 people by the end of March with approximately 3.7 million doses expected to be received from April to the end of June and a further 3.8 million between July and the end of September.