The number of applicants for the Be On Call for Ireland initiative is approximately 72,000.

The Health Service Executive said the figure includes nursing, medical, dental, support, health and social care professionals and ambulance personnel.

A high number of volunteers and non-healthcare experienced people registered to support the health service during the crisis.

Approximately 28,000 self-identified as being in relevant healthcare work areas, however the HSE said that following further online screening to ascertain who was available to work, the number reduced to approximately 14,000.

These applicants have self-identified as healthcare workers such as physiotherapists, for example, or those wishing to work in specific healthcare areas such as cleaning, portering etc.

The HSE said it is "vitally important" that only healthcare workers who are not already providing a healthcare service to public or private healthcare facilities are used.

It said it does not want to deplete any health services in the private or public sector so it can only recruit staff who are not already working in healthcare.

"At this stage we are focusing on doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, domestics/cleaners, porters, dentists, dieticians, radiographers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, pharmaceutical technicians, mortuary attendants, medical scientists, lab aides and are adding new categories as directed by the hospital and communities, depending on their individual needs."

The Be On Call for Ireland initiative was created to harness any additional potential in the employment market.

HSE recruitment campaigns and agency staff continue to be used as resources to recruit experienced staff into the services.

The initiative was launched by the HSE on 17 March and was complimented by the World Health Organization at its Covid-19 briefing on the elderly two weeks ago.

In a statement the HSE said that it only reports on those who have been placed in employment, are being currently matched to healthcare sites and are engaged in the recruitment screening process.

To date, approximately 1,430 health care professionals and support staff are in the process of being made available for a role or have started in roles including those assigned to work in residential settings.

"Significant redeployment and restructuring is taking place to support all aspects of the services including residential settings", it said.