Covid-19 testing set to increase to 100,000 a week

Covid-19 testing set to increase to 100,000 a week
It is estimated that around half of people will the virus are asymptomatic.

Covid-19 testing is to be ramped up to 100,000 a week in Ireland.

From today close contacts of people who have Covid-19 will be tested even if they have no symptoms.

It is estimated that around half of people with the virus are asymptomatic.

Dublin GP Dr Maitiu O'Toole says the testing system appears to be working.

He says: "As of today the aim was that we would be testing 100,000 people a week.

"The fact that the HSE has now announced that not only are we going to be able to provide tests for those that are positive,

"But actually test for their close contacts, and actually two tests on day one and day seven,

"Really shows that the HSE is now very confident that they have the capacity that is required which is really reassuring."

Meanwhile, in the UK, losing your sense of taste or smell is officially a sign of coronavirus - and you should self-isolate.

The government there updating is guidance, weeks after scientists first warned it could be a symptom along with fever and a persistent cough.

It is not been added to the list of symptoms prompting self-isolation in Ireland but Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said that it was up to GPs to decide if someone should be tested.

He says: "If an individual is concerned or worried about any symptoms it is always good advice to contact your GP.

"Your GP will be in a position to assess whether you meet the clinical case definition or not and whether the GP feels a test is appropriate for you."

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