September 9, 2020
Swann’s over-reliance on England’s Covid testing model problematic – Gildernew

Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has said Minister Swann’s over-reliance on Public Health England’s strategy has led to current Covid19 testing problems.

Speaking after Minister Swann wrote to the English Health Minister, Matt Hancock, raising concerns with testing here in the north, Colm Gildernew said:

“The current situation where people that are trying to book a COVID-19 test are being directed to centres in Stranraer in Scotland is ridiculous.

“I have heard examples of some people here being offered tests as far away as London.

“Minister Swann’s letter seeking urgent action from the English Health Minister is disingenuous.

“His over-reliance on the Public Health England strategy to provide tests for people in the north has led to the current situation where people are being referred to testing centres in Britain.

“The Minister needs to take responsibility and meaningfully expand testing capacity here which will provide the public with timely, locally accessible tests. 

“If the public are going to continue to be asked to do the right thing then the Department of Health needs to do the right thing and deliver the testing capacity needed to prevent the transmission of the virus.”

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