The number of COVID-19 patients in Irish hospitals has quadrupled in the past month.
Meanwhile, the number of people in intensive care with the virus has more than doubled.
As of yesterday morning, there were 90 COVID-19 patients in hospital with 17 in ICU.
HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid described the trend as “very disturbing” and urged people to “ignore noises” that suggest otherwise.
Tonight there are 90 people hospitalised,19 in ICU (23 & 8, 4 weeks ago).This is a very concerning trend.Please ignore noises that relay otherwise.We all have to protect our family, friends & health workers from being the next number. Please let's do it. We can #COVID19 @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) September 21, 2020
His warning came after the Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Dr Philip Nolan last week warned that the number of patients in hospital was now doubling every two weeks.
There were 188 new confirmed cases of the virus announced in the Republic last night with no further deaths.
Some 76 of the new cases were in Dublin with 25 in Cork, 21 in Donegal, 16 in Kildare, 13 in Galway, seven in Roscommon and seven in Waterford, with the remaining 23 cases spread across 12 counties.
There are fears that several counties around the country could follow Dublin into Level Three restrictions after the Government warned that there are ‘concerning trends’ emerging.
The acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has highlighted Donegal, Louth and Waterford as cause for concern while government official Liz Canavan said cases are rising in Limerick, Leitrim, Offaly, Kildare and Wicklow.
Trinity College Immunology Professor Kingston Mills told Newstalk that more counties are now in danger of a lockdown like Dublin's.
“There are a number of counties now where the rate per 100,000 is creeping up,” he said.
“With the pubs opening that is not the ideal situation so I imagine if those numbers still creep up in those counties, we could be looking at further restrictions locally in other counties outside Dublin.”
He suggested the reopening of 'wet pubs' outside of Dublin could have been delayed due to the rising cases.
“There are some small rural pubs outside of the bigger towns that are not likely to be a big issue,” he said.
“It is really in the bigger towns and the bigger locations that it is going to be an issue – especially around things where there is some event on and people congregate more than they usually would.”
The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the prospect of moving any other counties to level three of coronavirus restrictions would be 'carefully considered' as it's a significant decision.
He told The Pat Kenny Show yesterday that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will continue to advise on the situation, but that Louth, Donegal and Waterford are currently giving 'rise for concern.'