Focus of Covid-19 threat remains with arrivals in Ireland not travellers leaving says infectious disease expert

Focus of Covid-19 threat remains with arrivals in Ireland not travellers leaving says infectious disease expert
Professor McConkey thinks testing should remain focused on arrivals. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The focus of the Government should be on testing people for Covid-19 who are coming to Ireland - not leaving, according to an infectious disease expert.

The Department of Transport is considering swabbing travellers before they leave the country and only allowing them go when they have tested negative.

The health expert believes arrivals entering the country still pose a greater Covid-19 threat. Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie
The health expert believes arrivals entering the country still pose a greater Covid-19 threat. Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Professor McConkey said: "The people who are travelling into Ireland, to do that [a Covid-19 test] a day or two before they come here, because that would protect us here. 

"In terms of Irish people's health in Ireland, and I know it's a bit selfish to think that's all we are considering, 

"It's the people coming into Ireland that are our biggest risk not the people leaving the country."

Yesterday the Department of Health reported no new Covid-19 deaths however 20 new coronavirus cases were confirmed. 

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said that the "highly infectious disease" is still circulating in communities.

"It is a dangerous illness that no-one wants to catch," Dr Glynn said. 

Earlier today the HSE confirmed that the lowest number of Covid-19 patients are currently in hospital since the peak in April. 

Chief Executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, said there are 10 confirmed positive cases in hospital, with five patients with Covid-19 receiving treatment in intensive care.

The figures show a 96% drop from a peak of 140 people in intensive care in April.

Mr Reid tweeted: “Our thoughts with everyone for a full recovery.”

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up