IRELAND is ramping its efforts in the fight against Covid-19 by increasing the number of daily tests for the virus administered around the country.
Due to an increase in laboratory capacity, tests will triple from 1,500 a day to 4,500 a day.
It comes during what Health Minister Simon Harris described as a "really crucial week" for Ireland in the fight against coronavirus.
HSE chief Paul Reid warned however that an international shortage in supply of reagent - the substance needed for chemical analysis of coronavirus tests - remains a "significant worldwide challenge.
Testing in Ireland had initially been administered at 2,500 a day, but had dropped to 1,500 a day late last week due to issues with the availability of the reagent. There had initially been a target of 15,000 per day, but while the reagent shortage lasts, this seems unlikely.
It also comes just days after it emerged that 20% of the PPE sent from China was unusable, which severely hampered health care workers.
Added to this, just 10% of the total order, worth €200 million, had arrived.
Gardai have meanwhile continued to urge the public to follow government guidelines regarding social distancing, as reports emerge that more and more people are being spotted in parks and on beaches, flouting the travelling and distancing restrictions.