Testing turnaround delays down to technical issues

Testing turnaround delays down to technical issues

More than 44,000 Covid-19 tests have been carried out here in the past week.

3.3% of those came back from the lab as positive for the virus.

Testing capacity now stands at 90,000 plus per week, with a target of 105,000 expected to be hit on Monday.

Chairman of the Covid-19 Expert Advisory Group, Cillian de Gascun, says the extra capacity in the system means they can once again look at broadening the criteria for testing.

"We're learning more about the disease all the time so there are less common symptoms or new symptoms that we are associating with the infection," said Dr de Gascun.

"Anecdotally, we know maybe some GPs are not referring those forward because they're not strictly speaking within the case definition.

"We are keen to broaden that out. We are keen to test more.

"We want to drive down that positivity rate."

Addressing testing delays, Dr de Gascun said many of the turnaround delays have been down to technical issues.

"A huge amount of work has gone on with the HSE and all of the hospitals and the community hub to ensure that the various IT systems do talk to each other.

"Across the 40 labs there are many different IT systems, we don't have a single national lab system.

"That's not just trying to score any points, that is just the background to this."

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