The HSE has confirmed that it had ordered almost €7.5m worth of the defective hand sanitiser which has been recalled. 

In response to questions from RTÉ News, the HSE confirmed that it had ordered almost 3.8 million units of the ViraPro product but had only received 3.1 million bottles of the sanitiser to date. 

Since it issued its recall notice on Friday, the HSE has received 146 requests for replacement product which it said have all been "delivered on".

It said it has not been notified of any ill effects from using the product and it has advised all healthcare facilities to stop using the product with immediate effect. 

It said the ViraPro sanitiser represents less than 10% of HSE stock and it has "ample" supplies in storage to replace it.

Earlier, the Minister for Agriculture said the Government should have communicated the issue with the ViraPro hand sanitiser when it was notified about it by Revenue last week.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, Charlie McConalogue said he did not become aware of the issue until Thursday evening, but he said his department should have ensured public notification was made to everyone at the same time after they were notified about the issues on Friday 16 October.

He said that it was the company that had the legal responsibility to issue the withdrawal notice, but the department acted when he said it became clear that the company "wasn't following through".

The minister said everyone was doing their "absolute best" to deal with the issue, but he said he had sought a full review of the handling of the incident and why he was not informed about the issue earlier.

He said lessons have to be learned from what happened.

The department said that ViraPro PCS 100409 was recalled as prolonged use "may cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches".

Minister McConalogue also said the Government will continue to provide ongoing support and work closely with schools, but he did not commit to any extra supports being provided after the mid-term break.

Yesterday, the Health Service Executive confirmed that it received more than three million unites of products from ViraPro. 

It said it has already distributed more than a million ViraPro units to health service locations around the country, while the other two million units have now been placed in quarantine.

The HSE said it had mobilised a product recall team to establish how much product needs to be removed and replaced.

The Chief Executive of the HSE said that around a million units of the sanitiser were being recalled or around 7% or 8% of the total sanitiser product.

Paul Reid said today that an alternative line has been secured.

Sinn Féin's justice spokesperson has said that while it was not the Government's fault that the ViraPro hand sanitiser was faulty, it should have acted sooner to recall the product.

Speaking on the same programme, Martin Kenny said officials in the department knew well before the recall was issued and the minister should have been alerted earlier.

He said "it was a serious problem that is reflective of many serious problems" that have faced this Government.

"It's a total mess and the minister needs to get a grip on this," Mr Kenny said.

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said she was very concerned about what is now going on in schools.

She said that despite people hearing evidence of low transmission, there are still hundreds of vulnerable teachers on the frontline going to work in schools.

Ms Smith said Ireland has some of the highest class sizes in Europe, and schools have not received the proper resources to reflect this, in terms of teacher and SNA numbers, or distancing in classrooms, let alone a proper hand sanitiser.

She said from a health and safety point of view, the situation in schools was "not satisfactory".