Covid-19: Cabinet sub-committee meets to discuss lockdown restrictions

Covid-19: Cabinet sub-committee meets to discuss lockdown restrictions
The Minister for Health has defended the progress made by the Government to increase testing efforts. File picture.

The cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 will meet today to discuss the impact of the major restrictions introduced last Friday.

The death toll due to the virus in the Republic has gone up to 85.

14 further patients have died from the virus, while an additional 212 cases have been confirmed.

It brings the number of confirmed cases to 3,447.

Deputy chief medical officer Ronan Glynn admitted more testing would uncover more cases.

"At present, we are not carrying out as many tests we would like to be," he said.

He said: "In basic terms, if we were carrying out more tests, yes we would probably be picking up more people."

"That doesn't mean that the picture in terms of hospitalisations or intensive care would be any different and ultimately they are the figures we are most interested in," he said.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister, Simon Harris has strongly defended Ireland's efforts to provide quick test results for suspected Covid-19 patients.

People are being forced to wait up to ten days for a result because of a lack of swabs, testing centres and labs.

But the Wicklow TD said big progress has been made over the past days.

He said: "In relation to the swabs, the kits, the HSE has now secured a steady supply of them."

"In relation to the testing centres, we have gone from having the situation where the national ambulance service had to visit your home to test you," he said.

"To a situation where we now have more than 40 testing centres and soon more than 50 right across the country."

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