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Over 30,000 tests for Covid-19 carried out in Ireland as health officials urge people waiting for result to self-isolate

Dr Cillian De Gascun said that constraints relating to testing has meant delayed results for some people.

Dr Cillian De Gascun
Dr Cillian De Gascun
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

OVER 30,000 COVID-19 tests have been carried out so far in Ireland as the country works to stem the spread of the coronavirus, health officials confirmed this evening. 

Dr Cillian De Gascun, chair of the HSE’s Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group, confirmed that 30,213 tests had been carried out but that constraints relating to testing has meant delayed results for some people. 

Dr De Gascun said “signficant constraints at a global level” relating to supply issues, including supply of laboratory reagents, has meant prioritising hospitalised patients and healthcare workers for testing for Covid-19. 

“Unfortunately there will be an awful lot of people in the community who will have been waiting maybe seven to 10 days for a result,” said Dr De Gascun.

“That was obviously unanticipated and it is unfortunate but doesn’t really change our plan of ramping up testing over the coming weeks to achieve between 10,000 and 15,000 test per day,” he said. 

Last week, health officials decided to change the case definition for Covid-19 tests, narrowing down the focus on particular groups.

Dr De Gascun said this evening that since the case definition changed, the positivity rate had risen from 6% to 15% for those tested in the past seven days. “That’s one of the things we were trying to achieve, by changing the case definition, was to esnure we were testing the right people,” he said. 

Dr De Gascun stressed that testing is done for “a population benefit and not an individual benefit” and urged people who are symptomatic to self-isolate for 14 days and that they will receive a test result. 

This evening, it was confirmed that there are a further 325 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. 

Another 17 people are confirmed to have died from the coronavirus, according to figures released by the Department of Health this evening.

Of those 17 new reported deaths, the median age is 84, and eight of those patients were reported to have had an underlying condition.

Four of the patients were female, and 13 were male.

Eight patients were located in the east, three in the south, three in the north-west, and three in the west of the country. 

It brings to 71 the number of deaths from Covid-19 in Ireland; the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 3,235. 

- With reporting from Michelle Hennessy at the Department of Health 

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