The number of people in Irish hospitals with COVID-19 continues to fall, according to data released by the HSE on Friday night. 

There were 688 confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus on Friday night, compared to 792 a week before on Friday, May 8. 

The HSE acknowledged that there were 390 confirmed cases and 298 suspected cases of the virus in Irish hospitals last night. 

There were more than one thousand COVID-19 patients in Irish hospitals less than two weeks ago. 

The number of COVID-19 cases in intensive care units around the country also continues to drop, according to the HSE. 

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There were 56 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in ICU on Friday night, the lowest figure since the end of March. There were also 17 suspected cases of COVID-19 in ICU last night and at least 44 coronavirus patients needed ventilators. 

On the other hand, there were 72 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in intensive care units around the country on Friday, May 8 in addition to 22 suspected cases of the virus. 

There were 142 patients in ICU exactly one month ago on April 16. 

Minister for Health Simon Harris said in a tweet on Saturday morning that the downward trend in COVID-19 hospitalizations was positive but urged the Irish people to finish the job. 

Further reduction to 56 in the number of patients with #Covid19 in ICU. We think of each of them & their families. Get well. Let’s make sure we see this trend continue - we can all help by following the public health advice. Keep well. Let’s finish the job #StayHome #HoldFirm

— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) May 16, 2020

The HSE said that there are currently 155 ICU beds available in Irish hospitals and 1,137 vacant general beds. 

The HSE additionally said that hospital admissions dropped by 8.5% between Thursday, May 14, and Friday, May 15. 

The Mater Hospital in Dublin was treating the highest number of confirmed coronavirus patients with 59, followed by Dublin's St. James's Hospital which was treating 56 COVID-19 patients. 

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