Government Testing at a 1/2 of Capacity and at 1/3 of 1 Month Old Commitment – Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has castigated the government for unused testing capacity in the middle of a global pandemic. Speaking today at Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil An Teachta Tóibín stated;
“There will be no lifting of the Lockdown until we are testing at the outer ripple of the virus as it moves through society. Testing is the key to lifting the lockdown. Testing is the key to save lives and to reducing the enormous financial burden that is developing. However, testing remains in crisis”.
“On the 19th of March the Minister for Health said that we would reach 15,000 tests in a few days. Over a month later we are testing only a third of that figure”.
“People have been waiting for weeks for results. According to medics this slowed treatment resulting in worse outcomes in certain cases. I have worked with a family whose loved one passed away. That family had to wait another 2 weeks for their results and to bury their loved”.
“The criteria for testing was narrowed, not for clinical reasons but for compacity reasons. The criteria has still not been broadened out yet. Many people with Covid-19 symptoms do not fit the current criteria and cant get tested. The testing of asymptomatic people who have been in contact with confirmed cases, the solution to the crisis, seems as far away as ever”.
“I understand that for much of this time period the Testing regents were just not available in the quantities needed. This was clearly not the government’s fault. But yesterday I learned that we now have the capacity to test 10,000 people a day. Yet we are only testing 5,000, or half that capacity”.
“Capacity is no longer the brake on testing now. Government policy is. This is startling news. Will the Taoiseach ensure that we start testing at capacity immediately”.