Paul Reid says there is 'significant' pressure on the health service (Image: Getty Images)
Head of the HSE Paul Reid said there is 'significant' pressure on hospitals and numbers in admitted patients will 'continue to grow'.
He said multiple pressures are placed on the health system at present including Covid-19, respiratory seasonal virus, early indications of flu, and non-covid care.
Speaking on Newstalk, Mr. Reid said it is important to not create a heightened level of anxiety, but a heightened level of awareness.
"It is important to continue winning people's hearts and minds." he said.
He said the impact of having 500 people in hospital is 'significantly more' than 500 as wards are being closed, individuals are isolated and it has a 'disproportionate impact'.
"We are dealing with a virus, if we relentlessly keep up awareness levels we can reduce the impact on our hospital system." added Mr. Reid.
Unvaccinated people are 8 times more likely to enter ICU than vaccinated people, and if individuals are fully vaccinated the chance of contracting Covid is 50% less, according to the HSE chief.
Initiatives and campaigns are being run through Halloween to encourage uptakes of the vaccination programme.
Paul Reid said the health service understands the need to open the economy and society further as there is a mental and physical impact.
"I think we can do this in a manner that protects ourselves, strengthens our level of awareness for ourselves, our families, and our communities."
It comes as Chief Medical Officer, Tony Holohan said he had a 'substantial concern' about the growing number of Covid-19 patients being admitted to ICU.
Presently, there are more than 500 Covid patients in hospitals across the country and over 100 people in ICU.
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