Priority testing for Covid-19 could be introduced in Ireland

Priority testing for Covid-19 could be introduced in Ireland

PRIORITY TESTING on key workers such as those in the healthcare sector could be implemented in the fight against Covid-19, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said. 

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr. Harris said efforts are already underway to increase Ireland’s testing capacity with additional testing centres already on the way. 

There are also renewed efforts to get more testing kits, while there are now 10 labs across Ireland running the tests. 

The current wait time for the results of a test for coronavirus stands at around four to five days, with an estimated 40,000 people currently awaiting a test. 

But despite suggesting priority testing could be implemented in some sectors, Mr Harris was keen to stress that the advice to anyone displaying symptoms was to self-isolate immediately. 

“We are testing, testing, testing, but the most important thing is that if you think you have the symptoms you must self-isolate,” he said. 

“That is the most important thing you can do for yourself, your family, your country.” 

At the time of writing 906 people across Ireland have been confirmed as having Covid-19. 

In the meantime, he was keen to stress that personal protective equipment was being distributed to key healthcare workers with more due to arrive from China in the next week or so. 

Face masks, goggles and gowns are due to arrive in the country by Friday. 

Mr Harris also expects the National Public Health Emergency Team to make further recommendations regarding public spaces and businesses. 

In the meantime, it was crucial for the public to adhere to social distancing rules by maintaining a distance of two metres from one another to avoid a repeat of the scenes unfolding in Italy.