The head of the HSE says there's a high level of 'stress and duress' across the health system because of Covid 19.

617 patients are in hospital with the virus and 106 are in ICU.

There are 27 patients with the virus at Galway University Hospital at present, 17 at Mayo University Hospital and 13 each at Sligo and the Portiuncula University Hospital.

Of these 3 are in ICU in Sligo, 2 in Galway and 1 in the Portiuncula.

The Cabinet Sub Committee on Covid 19 will meet this evening to discuss what measures may be needed to cope with the escalating cases.

CEO of the HSE Paul Reid says the situation in hospitals is stark.