The Health Service Executive has been "overwhelmed" by people wanting to help in the fight against Covid-19. 

50,000 people have contacted the HSE to be 'On Call for Ireland' over the last three days after the organisation put out a request for healthcare professionals, students and volunteers to help it tackle the outbreak .

Paul Reid, Chief Executive of the HSE, told The Late Late Show that the interview process will begin next week and that 6,000 people will be interviewed each week.

He also said that the HSE is to double the number of beds in the health system.

Mr Reid said that there are currently 10,000 beds in the public health system and that they are now "ramping up to match that with another 10,000 across the whole system".

On the same programme, the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan described the fight against the corona virus as a marathon and not a sprint. 

Dr Holohan, who earlier said that he sees no justification for introducing a 'lock down' yet in Ireland, described the measures introduced so far as reasonable and proportionate.

"If we go too far too early, there's a chance we have to sustain for too long, and the level of compliance that people have with the measures that we have recommended will reduce and those measures will then become less effective".

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation told the programme that "the numbers aren't there" in terms of sufficient nursing staff within the health service. 

However, she urged the public to play their part in terms of social distancing and hygiene measures. 

"We will have enough if the curve is flat, we will not have enough if we spike", she said.

Additional reporting by Laura Hogan