Following the closure of some testing centres over the weekend, Róisín Shortall, TD and co-leader of the Social Democrats, has called on Government to provide an explanation.
She said, “The public deserves clear answers about the reason we are not operating at full testing capacity. The national strategy to combat Covid-19 is test and trace, but some testing centres were closed over the weekend. For example, the test centre in Tallaght was closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday and is only working a half day today. Others have been operating very restricted hours or not opening at all on some days.
“Given that the infrastructure and staff are in place, and indeed many volunteers have been sent home, what is holding up the full-scale operation of test and trace? Last week Ireland had a testing capacity of 60,000 and yet only 41,470 tests were carried out.
“The case definition remains very narrow and this is a cause of much frustration for GPs, many of whom believe a wider cohort of their patients need to be tested. We’ve been told that not enough is known about the behaviour of the virus at community level, yet puzzlingly very little community testing is taking place.
“The public has put in a huge effort to stay at home for many weeks now, but the success of their efforts and the country’s recovery is entirely dependent on the test and trace strategy.
“Why are we not using the full testing capacity when the national strategy is based on test and trace? The facts don’t add up, and the public deserves a clear answer from the Government.”