GPs welcome decision to widen criteria for Covid-19 testing

GPs welcome decision to widen criteria for Covid-19 testing

The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) has welcomed the decision to widen the testing criteria for Covid-19.

People need to display symptoms of the coronavirus, for example, a cough, fever or shortness of breath and do not need to be a priority group, according to the change in criteria.

“The Irish College of General Practitioners welcomes the widening of the Covid-19 testing criteria," the group's president, Dr Mary Favier, said

"We need to be able to track this virus, so the wider we can cast the net the better.

“This is a necessary step as restrictions are easing. We are increasingly confident the systems the HSE have put in place will be able to accommodate and manage the ramping up in the number of tests performed each week.

As we increase the number of tests, it is critically important that contact tracing is timely and appropriately organised in order to deal with the anticipated rise.

"If a test result is positive, public health must ensure they quickly trace that person’s contacts so that we are then managing the ongoing spread of the disease.”

'This remains something to worry about': Criteria for Covid testing widens from today

The testing criteria for Covid-19 has changed from this morning.

People don’t have to be in a priority group to get tested but need to have a cough, fever or shortness of breath.

Monaghan GP Illona Duffy says widening the testing criteria will help contain the spread of the virus.

"There can be that sense that most people are feeling 'well, I've mild symptoms, it's ok, this isn't something to worry about' - this remains something to worry about," she said.

"That's why I'm delighted to see today that we are opening up the testing again so we can get a true picture.

"Every decision that we are going to make about moving forward, every decision that we are going to make about relaxing all the restrictions that are on us, have to be made by the spread of the disease," she added.

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