Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew said universal testing for COVID-19 is required for residents and staff in care and residential homes as a matter of urgency.
The Sinn Féin Assembly health spokesperson said:
“Families with relatives and loved ones in care and residential homes, as well as the workers at these facilities, have been very concerned about getting access to COVID-19 testing.
“The World Health Organisation is clear that testing, tracing and isolating every suspected case is essential for helping to control the spread of the pandemic and save lives.
“The Health Minister needs to deliver on his commitment that COVID-19 testing will be made available to all care home residents and staff across the north.
“I and my party colleagues, including Joint Head of Government Michelle O’Neill, have raised this with the Health Minister on numerous occasions calling for universal testing.
“The roll out of universal testing, needs to start in care homes as a matter of urgency and on an on-going basis.
“We know care homes are at the front line in the COVID-19 battle, and are extremely vulnerable.
“There can be no more time for equivocation.
“It is essential that we protect care home residents and those who work there, looking after them as a matter of priority.”