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There will be delays in coronavirus tests and results in coming weeks, Taoiseach says

Leo Varadkar said he understands the anxiety and worry of people waiting for tests and results.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris and Paul Reid CEO of the HSE in one of the clinic rooms in the Citywest Hotel today.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris and Paul Reid CEO of the HSE in one of the clinic rooms in the Citywest Hotel today.
Image: RollingNews.ie

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said there will be delays in Covid-19 tests and results in the coming weeks.

Speaking to reporters today, Varadkar said he understands the anxiety and worry of people waiting for tests and results.

He said: “The current cause of delay is a shortage of reagents. We hope to address that but then there may be a shortage of something else. We have to be honest about that – we will hit delays.

“There is no handbook or roadmap for dealing with this. Everyone across health service is pulling out all the stops. We are going to run into issues. Every country is looking for kits, reagents, ventilators.”

Currently in Ireland, you can phone your GP to be assessed for a test if you are in a priority group and showing Covid-19 symptoms of fever and a cough, or fever and shortness of breath.

Those in a priority group who have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case and are symptomatic will also be assessed. 

Priority groups include close contacts of a confirmed case, healthcare workers, people who are at risk of severe infection and staff and residents of nursing homes. 

Earlier today, Minister for Health Simon Harris said for each new case of Covid-19 identified now, there are just three close contacts on average. This has gone down from five last week and 20 the week before that. 

“We’re already beginning to see the benefit of some of the measures people have undertaken,” he said. 

He said contact tracing for those who are symptomatic will now happen in advance of a test taking place.

So far, more than 30,471 people have been tested for Covid-19 in Ireland. 

With reporting by Orla Dwyer 

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