The Taoiseach says around half the population could be infected with Covid-19.
Speaking last night at a Department of Health briefing, Leo Varadkar said the HSE wants to avoid a spike that could overwhelm the health service.
54 new cases of coronavirus were also confirmed in the Republic bringing the total number to 223.Two people have died from the illness.
Mr Varadkar said current increases cannot be stopped within the next few weeks.
“Half the population getting Covid-19 is accurate, that could certainly happen.
“For most people a very mild illness, for some a very serious one.
“The number of people who have Covid-19 will continue to rise every day, every week, for a couple of weeks. But the objective in a couple of weeks time is to flatten the curve then so that we don’t have a single spike at the same time that would that would overwhelm the health service.
“But the total number of cases will be very, very high.”