HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said the health service is "under stress" with 984 Covid-19 patients in hospital as an additional 21,384 cases were confirmed today.
However, he said there is "always room for optimism" with intensive care units stable and booster vaccines "giving greater protection".
He also said the public's actions are mitigating the impact of the Omicron wave of the virus. Mr Reid added that there is evidence of less severity from the new strain of Covid.
"Nobody is hospitalised for mild illness," he concluded in a tweet.
Our health service is under stress. But always room for optimism. Booster vaccines are giving greater protection. Public's actions are mitigating impacts. ICU cases holding stable. Evidence of less severity, but 984 hospitalised. Nobody is hospitalised for mild illness. @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) January 9, 2022
A record 26,122 Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the State on Saturday.
The number of coronavirus patients in hospital has jumped from 917 on Saturday, today's figure of 984 is the highest level since last February.
There were 83 Covid-19 patients in ICU as of 8am today, the same number as Saturday.
Chairperson of the GP subcommittee of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), Dr Denis McCauley, has said most of those becoming seriously ill with the virus have not been vaccinated.
Dr McCauley told Newstalk: "The vaccine campaign has got us where we are now, in that I think it is ameliorating the amount of disease we are seeing. That unfortunately is so starkly shown in that quite a lot of people who are dying with Omicron are sadly not vaccinated."