Younger people are becoming very sick with Covid-19, with around half of patients in critical care under the age of 60 according to a leading intensive care doctor.
The latest figures from the Government's Covid-19 data hub show that as of 8am on Saturday there were 242 people with the virus in hospital. There were 65 people in intensive care with Covid-19 as of 7.30pm yesterday.
Dr Catherine Motherway, an intensive care consultant at University Hospital Limerick, told Newtalk that hospital numbers are coming down but not fast enough.
"We still have a significant burden of disease in the ICUs and with case numbers at 500 every day, unfortunately, some of those people will get sick and require our services," Dr Motherway said.
The vaccination programme will ultimately make a difference to our numbers.
"The best way to bring out numbers down is to bring the transmission of the disease down, but also the vaccination programme will ultimately make a difference to our numbers too," she added.
Public health experts are asking people to keep their contacts low over the bank holiday weekend, urging adherence to Level 5 restrictions to avoid a surge in case numbers as was noted after Christmas.
Earlier this week, deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned of the possibility of a fourth wave, asking people to "work together to prevent a further wave of infection" by celebrating this Easter safely.
"Please continue to stick with the public heath advice. Do not give this virus the opportunities it is seeking to spread,” Dr Glynn said.
"We have already seen the clear bonus that vaccinations are bringing with cases and deaths in nursing homes and hospitals and cases amongst healthcare workers falling dramatically across the island. There are much brighter days ahead," he added.