Almost 13 years worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) will start to arrive in Ireland by the end of the week, Health Minister Simon Harris said.
"Usually in a year we'd spend about €15 million on personal protective equipment - we're going to spend about €225 million this year," he said.
In an interview with Virgin Media News, Mr Harris said that he was "really pleased" that Ireland, through the HSE, had secured the equipment haul during the global shortage of supplies.
He said that the supply, which is due to start arriving by the end of the week, is "probably what would normally do you for about 13 years."
Speaking about the latest safety measures announced by the Government yesterday, which saw the closure of non-essential retail outlets, the minister said that the public should follow the advice and "take it day by day".
"We will do what we need to do, and we'll do everything we can do - but it will only work if we do it in partnership with the people," he said.
He also urged the public to look at the breakdown of the figures and not just the daily cases, and that "the trend is going in one direction".
"Of course the daily numbers of new cases in Ireland are of interest. It's of interest to me, it's of interest to all of us, on a human level and curiosity level it's of interest.
"It's nowhere near though as important, in my view, as what we're seeing in relation to our ICUs. We are seeing a number of people in our country get very very sick and end up in intensive care.
"There are more people in Ireland today with Covid-19 than yesterday, there will be more tomorrow and today.
"But even more importantly than that we have seen a significant number admitted to ICU, and sadly we've seen several people lose their lives."