April 10, 2020
Persistent COVID-19 testing issues need to be addressed – Louise O’Reilly TD

Louise OR' ReillySinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said the persistent COVID-19 testing issues which have again seen testing sites collecting only a limited amount of samples need to be addressed.

She has also once again implored on the government to be transparent about the testing situation.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said: “The reports that yet again testing for COVID-19 at two of the State’s largest testing facilities has ground to a halt is concerning and indicative of persistent problems across the testing system.

“At the end of March, similar issues arose with testing sites suspending testing due to a lack of testing kits.

“The most recent reports that testing has slowed to a trickle at the Croke Park and Páirc Uí Chaoimh testing facilities is concerning given that people are waiting to be tested.

“The latest delays come amid official claims that daily sampling is being ramped up.

“However, as has often been the case in recent weeks, the reality on the ground is different from what the government has been saying.

“The World Health Organisation have been clear in their advice that states must “test, test, test”. If we are failing to do that, then we cannot get on top in the battle against this virus.

“In order to test as many people as possible and find out the true scale of the virus is across the State, then we must have enough testing kits.

“For some weeks now I have been calling on the government to secure a reliable domestic supply of COVID-19 testing kits.

“Across Ireland, we have some of the foremost medical device companies in the world as well as some fantastic and ingenuitive domestic medical companies.

“The government and the HSE must liaise with these companies and deliver a domestic supply line of testing kits. We cannot continue to leave hostages to fortune and rely on imports from other countries.

“Abbott and Randox, both based in Ireland, are just two companies producing effective COVID-19  testing kits.

“I would implore the government to reach out to all possible medical devices companies in Ireland – big and small – and work with them to guarantee a domestic supply of testing kits. Without them, we are blind in this battle.

“Finally, I would call on the government to be up front and transparent about the testing situation.

“It is insulting to try and keep the public, the media, and opposition politicians in the dark about these matters. If there are issues, admit it, explain what they are, and let’s work together to figure out how we can overcome them.”

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