Just slightly over half the 711 Covid-19 patients in hospital today were admitted due to complications of the virus and the rest are being treated for other illnesses, the HSE said today.
Around 47pc are in hospital for another condition but tested positive after they were admitted.
The number of Covid patients in hospital is 28 down on yesterday but 74 remain in intensive care, said chief executive Paul Reid.
Ireland is on the “right side of the slope.”
The severity of infection is not as significant this time and length of stay for Covid-19 patients is also falling, he added.
He said while nobody is saying the pandemic is over and “we may have to recalibrate” if another threat emerges people should still celebrate where the country is now while remaining cautious.
He said hospitals are extremely busy and the patients with asymptomatic Covid-19 are still “infectious” requiring infection control and isolation measures to be in place.
Some hospitals are extremely crowded , particularly University Hospital Limerick which had 255 patients presenting at its emergency department on n Tuesday with a high level of admissions.
Across the country hospitals are having to create surge beds to relieve overcrowding and place patients in areas they would not normally be.
Overcrowding is being exacerbated by the high number of outbreaks in nursing homes which means hundreds of patients cannot be discharged.
Chief operations officer Ann O Connor said 48pc of older people’s units are suffering outbreaks.
Covid-19 related staff absences across the health service have fallen to 4,800, down 3,000 in a week.
GP referrals of people with potential symptoms who need a Covid test have fallen by 44pc in the week and community referrals also have dropped by 40pc.
However, the overall rate of people testing positive is still high at 48.1pc although it is down from 55.2pc.
Around 119,000 of the 480,000 children aged five to 11 have registered for a vaccine and the interest has slowed.
Take-up of booster shots has also slowed down and people who are eligible are again asked to come forward.
Commenting on the findings of the report into the south Kerry CAMHS service which found children were given inappropriate medication Mr Reid said he apologised to the families involved and the HSE would embrace all of its findings.
It will carry out a national audit and checks to “reassure” the users of CAMHS services across the country.
Many around the country will get good care in similar services but this is not what happened in south Kerry, he added.
The practices in the south Kerry service had a significant impact on the children involved and their families, he added.
“None of us could bear this if our families had to go through what those families did.”
What happened severely impacted the trust and confidence of the public, he conceded.
The team there now in south Kerry under the executive clinical director and community officer are highly committed and fully embracing all elements of the recommendations in the report.They are working on actions and timelines around it.
Ms O Connor said the problem recruiting psychiatrists is a global one and not confined to Ireland.
She there would be placed for 13 CAMHS trainees this year which is an increase from the previous three or four.However, it is unclear if they will stay with the service. The problems in Kerry related to how the team worked and the practice was sub-standard, she added.
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