Covid-19 hospital admissions have climbed to above 100 this morning, representing the highest figure seen in almost two months.
As of Monday morning, there were 101 patients hospitalised with the disease, with 20 people being treated in intensive care units (ICU).
Aside from Covid care, 241 admitted patients were also waiting for beds this morning in Irish hospitals, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO)’s trolley watch.
The increase in Covid hospitalisations follows a surge in daily case numbers, with more than 1,000 cases recorded each of the previous three days.
The five-day moving average of new cases has increased by 89 per cent in the past week, and now stands at 1,101.
Just over three weeks ago, there were just 38 people hospitalised with the coronavirus.
With Donegal remaining one of Ireland's Covid hotspots, Donegal-based GP Denis McCauley said he fears the situation will worsen in the coming weeks.
“North Donegal, which is [closely associated] with Northern Ireland, have numbers which are very high, they are 600 per 100,000,” he said.
“So we’re seeing a lot of positive cases and that is potentially what could happen if things are not managed well for the rest of the country.”
Despite fears that a further surge in Covid hospitalisations could impact upon non-Covid care, Government Ministers are expected to proceed with plans to further reopen the country with the return of indoor dining next week.
As international travel returned on Monday, one virology expert warned it could be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
Meanwhile, the HSE vaccine portal officially opens to 18 to 24-year-olds from today, allowing them to opt in for an Astrazeneca vaccine amid concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.