Ireland logged a further 4,728 cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday as hospitalisations dropped below the 1,000 patient mark.
The Department of Health said 2,098 cases were confirmed by PCR test, while 2,630 people registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal.
Hospitalisations linked to the virus dropped by 71 people over the last 24 hours to a total of 933 inpatients, bringing the number below 1,000 for the first time in about a month.
Hospitalisations surpassed the 1,000 patient mark on March 14th for just the third time during the pandemic.
58 patients are receiving treatment in intensive care units, an increase of five on the day before.
However, surging admissions did not overall translate to similar case numbers requiring critical care and it is understood that many Covid-19 patients were initially hospitalised for reasons other than the virus.
The high numbers of patients has nonetheless placed extensive stress on the health service which was already struggling amid chronic overcrowding.
On Tuesday, an infectious diseases expert expressed cautious optimism that Ireland will soon see a “dramatic decline” in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations after a recent surge in infections boosted immunity in the population.