Ireland now has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world, according to new data.
As of midnight, Saturday 9th January, the HPSC has been notified of 6,888 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
He added: "We are beginning to see early signs of improvement in the situation but that improvement is from such a high level of disease that our health services remain very much under strain and under threat and will be so for a number of weeks".
The latest figures from the Health Department on Sunday saw a further 17 deaths due to Covid-19 and 1,112 additional positive cases in the region.
The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.
The HSE's Clinical Lead for Intensive Care has said the number of patients in ICU is nearing the springtime peak of 155. Defending that decision, the spokesperson said the sectors involved "by and large" adhered to the public health measures and the incidence of infection was "relatively low" in hospitality, retail and construction settings.
The new United Kingdom variant of the disease is now accounting for approximately 45% of all new cases identified in Ireland. This clearly demonstrates that COVID-19 affects us all, regardless of age or underlying condition.
More than 54,000 people flew into the Republic of Ireland between December 21 and January 3, according to the Department of Justice.
As of 2pm today, 1,452 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 125 are in ICU.
They said the surge in expected hospital admissions can not be solved by creating more beds because the staff are not there to care for increased numbers of patients.
While the United State has always been considered the epicentre of the disease, Ireland's current 7 day average is more than double that of America, which has a seven day average of 653.
On Monday Ireland recorded eight more deaths and 4929 new cases.
"That means we are unfortunately set for a period of time where the situation in our hospitals gets worse before it gets better".