CEO of Mayo University Hospital Tony Canavan has stated that Ireland is at the start of a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.
Canavan added that a fresh wave of infections, which are being fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant, will put hospitals under significant pressure.
Canavan is the chief executive of the Saolta hospital group, which includes Mayo University Hospital and Letterkenny University Hospital.
Both hospitals have the highest number of confirmed cases in the country with 14 in Letterkenny and 13 in Mayo.
Canavan stated that the hospital group was notified about the Covid-19 outbreak in Mayo University Hospital after a number of positive cases were detected by the screening system.
However, some cases remained undetected which led to transmission within the hospital.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1, Canavan said that patients who displayed mild symptoms of Covid-19 were admitted to hospital for other reasons and cases were subsequently identified during the screening process.
The current hospital situation differs from the third wave situation when patients exhibited serious illness from Covid-19.
It has been noted that this does not change the impact on hospital services as patients still need to be managed in a particular way once they test positive for the virus.
The ages of those who have tested positive for the virus range from people in their 20s to people in their 90s. According to Canavan, some of these people are fully vaccinated, some are partially vaccinated while others are not vaccinated at all.