New projections show Ireland could be seeing hundreds of new cases of Covid-19 per day by Sunday, and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said in the region of 15,000 cases are expected by the end of the month.
A major national recruitment drive to recruit health workers is due to be launched tomorrow.
Ireland’s chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said early modelling data shows that we could see 78 new cases of Covid-19 reported tomorrow, 109 Wednesday, and 355 cases on Sunday.
Dr Holohan said the next week is a crucial time in the battle against the virus.
“The behaviours we adopt in the next seven days will form the template for how we interrupt the spread of this virus over the coming months,” he said.
“We need to sustain social distancing, respiratory hygiene and these new ways of behaving if we are to succeed in minimising the threat.”
Fifty-four new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the country tonight, including 11 cases in the south.
Today, the Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 approved a National Action Plan.
The HSE is implementing a wide range of measures that are described as “unprecedented in their scale and speed” and include a major recruitment drive.
"We will hire everybody that we can to work in the Irish health service," Health Minister Simon Harris said, appealing to retired healthcare professionals and students to apply.
It is estimated up to 140,000 people who work in restaurants, pubs and childcare have been laid off work because of measures taken to tackle Covid-19.
Mr Varadkar said: "Tens of thousands of people will be laid off and we will see unemployment rising again to a level we haven't seen in 13 or 14 years.
"I want to say to those people who have lost their jobs, support is there for you, whether you're unemployed or self-employed."
Mr Varadkar said the Government will work to ensure people who have lost their jobs can pay their mortgages and rent.