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09 Dec 2021

Covid-19 PCR tests within a day or two labelled 'impossible'

Covid-19 PCR tests within a day or two labelled 'impossible'

According to the HSE's online portal, there are no available appointments in 14 counties today.

According to the Health Service Executive's (HSE) portal this morning, there are no Covid-19 PCR tests available in 14 counties, while tests for everyone within a day or two have been labelled 'impossible'.

The online portal shows there are no available tests in Carlow, Cork, Dublin. Kildare, Kilkenny, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, Kerry, Laois, Louth and Leitrim.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has said he fully appreciates the frustrations people are feeling however, he said according to the latest data, between 500,000 and 700,000 people had cold or flu like symptoms last week adding that there was "no testing system in the world that can ramp up testing to 20 per cent of its population in a week-on-week basis" and that delays are inevitable.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne, Dr Glynn said the core message to the public is to isolate as soon as symptoms start developing.

He said even people who get a negative PCR test should isolate as long as they're experiencing symptoms adding that anyone unvaccinated, of any age, should restrict their movements if someone else in their household has symptoms.

The HSE's lead for the test and trace programme has said despite providing over 200,000 PCR tests in the last seven days, there is pressure to try to meet the demand for timely PCR tests across the country.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is due to meet on Thursday 25 to examine the new data on the virus, although no more recommendations on restrictions are expected to be announced.

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