Data on the number of patients who are admitted to hospital due to Covid complications compared to those who test positive after being admitted for other reasons is being sought by the Government.

At present, the HSE Covid hub website states that there are 141 people in hospital who have tested positive for coronavirus, of whom 22 are in ICU.

A Government spokesperson said it is "seeking better data on hospitalisations in order to better inform decision making.

"This includes details on the total number of positive cases in hospital, the number who contracted Covid while in hospital, and those being treated for Covid specifically."

RTÉ has also requested this information from the HSE but no data has been forthcoming.

The Government spokesperson added: "Details are also being sought on how many travel-related cases had been fully vaccinated.

"The matter will be discussed further with the National Public Health Emergency Team."

Last week, HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said the "great majority of [Covid patients are in hospital] because they are sick with Covid.

"In some cases there are outbreaks, and in those outbreaks people have been picked up who either didn't have symptoms, or very mild symptoms."

However, Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group, told RTÉ's Morning Ireland last week that "nearly all the [coronavirus] cases" in the group's hospitals "are being admitted for other reasons" than Covid-19.

Of those that do test positive for the disease, "the majority are exhibiting mild or moderate symptoms".

Meanwhile, a specialist in Public Health Medicine at the Department of Public Health in the Midlands said a number of teenagers and young adults may have acquired Covid-19 intentionally at social events.

Dr Douglas Hamilton said it appears that the objective may have been to become quickly eligible to apply for a Covid Digital Recovery Certificate.

He said this is extremely risky and dangerous as the Delta variant has higher morbidity and mortality rates, also for young people, along with the risk of Long Covid.

Dr Hamilton said there is also the risk that the virus could be passed to people who may not have "mounted as good an immune response to vaccination as younger and fully fit people, putting them at risk of serious disease".

He added that vaccination provides better immunity than infection and urged people who are not yet vaccinated to avoid large social gatherings.

Separately, a further 639 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health said.

No further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for the virus have been notified.

As of this morning there were 208 Covid-19 positive patients in hospital, with 25 in intensive care.

In total, 2, 208,466 vaccines have been administered.