The number of Irish COVID-19 patients in ICU has fallen below one hundred for the first time in more than a month, the HSE confirmed on Sunday. 

A total of 98 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were being treated in intensive care units in Irish hospitals as of Sunday morning. 

HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid said in a Sunday press briefing that there were also 28 suspected cases of the coronavirus in intensive care. 

The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals across the country currently stands at 953. 

The HSE also confirmed on Friday evening that there were 134 critical care beds and more than 1,400 general care beds available in Irish hospitals. 

The six hospitals with the most COVID-19 cases are all in Dublin, according to Friday's data. The Mater hospital in Dublin had more than 10% of hospitalized cases, with 113 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Read more: HSE says Ireland now has zero testing backlog

Reid additionally said that Ireland has completed 176,000 coronavirus tests as of Friday evening, which places it among the top six countries in Europe in relation to completed tests. 

He said that Irish health services will be able to test 100,000 people per week by May 18. Around 60,000 people were tested in the last seven days and 57,000 of those tests have already been processed in Irish labs, Reid said. 

He added that testing has been completed in almost 80% of Ireland's 551 nursing homes and that transmission rates are beginning to fall. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 in nursing homes has proved to be one of the most worrying issues during the pandemic, and it has precipitated a massive government response to curtail the spread of the virus in care homes and residential facilities. 

More than 600 people have died in Irish nursing homes from COVID-19, which is at least half of the country's total death toll. 

The Irish Government has dramatically increased testing, PPE supplies and redirected HSE staff to nursing homes. 

Read more: Dublin nursing home reports 21 COVID-19 deaths in three weeks

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