Tag Archives: testing

This afternoon.

Handball Alley, Croke Park, Dublin

One of two Covid-19 ‘pop-up’ test centres set up in Dublin due to concern over the rising number of cases in the capital, with the Acting Chief Medical Officer of the HSE Dr Ronan Glynn urging people in the city ‘to be cautious and limit their social interactions’.

Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews

This morning/afernoon

UCD O’Brien (cough) Centre for Science.

Paul Reid, CEO HSE (above) rejected claims that the test and trace system is falling apart and described such claims as ‘alarmist and unhelpful’.

Via RTÉ:

Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid said the 14-day incidence of Covid-19 is at 25.4 per 100,000 leaving Ireland the third highest in Europe for new cases.

He said there have been clusters in private households, workplaces and sporting events.

He said:

“We want people to come forward for testing and have demonstrated that the system is meeting demand, which it did last week.”

He also said that in some cases there were up to 50 close contacts of a confirmed case identified.

Assistant Professor at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at TCD Tomás Ryan said earlier this week that Ireland’s test, trace and isolate system was never fast enough and is now falling apart.

HSE rejects claims test system ‘falling apart’ (RTÉ)


This afternoon.

Newbridge, County Kildare.

Drive-in HSE rona testing centre.


The number of new infections reported yesterday was 66, down considerably on the 200 cases cited on Saturday.

A significant reduction in outbreaks and community transmission was recorded last night.

As of 8pm last night, there were 19 patients with Covid-19 being treated in hospital. 8 of these patients are in intensive care.

A further 136 people who are suspected of having the virus are also in hospital, with 7 of these patients in ICU.

Health officials to meet after sharp rise in virus cases (RTÉ)

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

From left: Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd; Testing centre at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2 in May

This morning.

People are afraid.

Let’s make them more afraid.

Via Independent.ie

More than 1,300 people have refused a Covid-19 test despite being at risk of the deadly disease after being in close contact with an infected person.

The startling figure showing 1,314 have snubbed the offer of a test was revealed by the HSE to the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response.

Dr Lorraine Doherty, HSE national clinical director for health protection, said they are concerned about people not turning up for tests.

She said: “It shows that the public are becoming disengaged with the idea of having a Covid-19 test if they are symptomatic or if they are a contact, because they understand the implications of having a test and that they would need to restrict their movements.”

…Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd said: “The gardaí may need to call to people’s doors if they refuse to come for a Covid-19 test.”

Good times.

Covid tests refused as people fear quarantine restrictions (Independent.ie)


Paul Reid, HSE CEO this morning

This morning.

O’Brien Centre for Science, UCD, Dublin 4.

Via Irish Times:

“We need to improve where we’ve been at,” he {Paul Reid, CEO HSE][ said, while defending progress made to date. “We have faced very significant backlogs which resulted in a very poor experience for many people,” he said, adding the HSE had been “rightly judged and held to account”.

…His comments come amid scrutiny of the State’s contact tracing and testing process, seen as a key element of relaxing restrictions on movement and other measures over the summer.

Experts have said current timelines are too slow relative to where they should be to help ensure the disease is kept under control as lockdown measures are relaxed.,,,

Coronavirus: HSE says new three-day target for testing and tracing to be introduced (Irish Times)


That’ll learn him.


This morning.

The COVID-19 testing facility on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay on the Liffey in Dublin  2.,



During yesterday’s Dáil sitting, Social Democrat TD and co-leade Róisín Shortall (top) criticised the ‘Government’s delays in reaching the testing target of 100,000 per week’.

Ms Shorthall said,

“It has proven exceptionally difficult to get clear answers about the reasons for the delays in achieving the original test and trace strategy, either from Government or the health authorities.

We’ve had to ask questions three, four, five times to get anywhere close to a reasonable answer. This has especially been the case in relation to reagent.

While the public has played its part, increasingly it is being seen that the Government has not delivered on its side of the deal. I believe this is leading to a loss of confidence and growing frustration among many people.

The authorities need to level with the people, explain clearly what is happening, including the problems, and provide straight answers to questions.

Unfortunately, there has been obfuscation and spin about the entire test and trace strategy and regrettably, after several weeks of lockdown and sacrifice, the failure to implement the strategy will mean the lifting of the restrictions will be delayed further.

“Our recovery is entirely dependent on our ability to test and trace this virus, and unless we have a transparent, robust strategy as originally proposed, it will take longer for restrictions to be lifted.”

Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews

At the gates of Croke Park which is being used as a drive-thru Covid-19 testing centre

This morning.

Eoin English and Daniel O’Connell, in The Irish Examiner, reports:

Concerns have been raised as testing for Covid-19 two of the State’s largest testing facilities has ground to a halt, despite official claims that daily sampling is being ramped up.

…HSE staff at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork have taken just a handful of swab samples from people who have been referred for testing in recent days. The facility operates for just a few hours a day.

Limited activity was observed at Croke Park yesterday by the Irish Examiner.

Covid-19 testing grinds to a halt at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Croke Park sites (The Irish Examiner)



Related: Coronavirus: Is insufficient testing a big weakness in our attack? (Jack Horgan-Jones, The Irish Times)


Members of the Defence Forces and the HSE stand next to the LÉ Samuel Beckett along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2 which has become a Covd-19 test centre 

Fergal Bowers, of RTÉ, reports:

New rules have been introduced for Covid-19 testing, which means patients will need to meet revised criteria to qualify in future.

Patients will have to display two major symptoms – a fever and either a cough or shortness of breath – and fall into a priority group in order to be tested.

These are close contacts of a confirmed case, healthcare staff and vulnerable groups.

Those seeking Covid-19 test must display two major symptoms under new rules (RTÉ)

Meanwhile, last night on RTÉ’s Prime Time

Earlier: ‘Persistant Cough’

“I Had Completely Convinced Myself That This Was Just A Chest Infection”

Health Minister Simon Harris speaking to Bryan Dobson on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland

This morning.

Further to repeated calls from politicians and health experts for people to maintain “social distancing” of two metres, and suggestions that further restrictions on people’s movement will be put in place on account of the coronavirus, Health Minister Simon Harris told Bryan Dobson on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland:

“We did see, over the course of this weekend see scenes of large gatherings, the one in Glendalough perhaps might have been the one that most people were talking about.

“I’m very pleased that the council stepped in there and said ‘look, we can’t properly socially distance here, we’re shutting down the car park, we’re shutting down the food premises. That’s the sort of decisive action that needs to be taken…

“To be very clear to everybody in Ireland today, you need to abide by the social distancing, that means there should be two metres between you and other people.

“If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be operating. Tomorrow the National Public Health Emergency team will meet. We’ve been very clear, myself and the Taoiseach, we won’t be making decisions based on kind of Twitter trends or political populism, we’ll follow the public health advice.

“Tomorrow Tony Holohon’s team will consider if there are further recommendations to be made to Government and I quite frankly expect that it’s likely we’re going to be receiving further recommendations from them…

“…we know that the two metres needs to be abided by and perhaps we know that there are some places where that hasn’t been possible to happen. So perhaps greater guidance in relation to playgrounds and public spaces could be useful as well and perhaps greater supports and guidance for businesses too…”



Paul Cullen, in today’s The Irish Times, reports that 40,000 people across Ireland are waiting for a coronavirus test.

Mr Cullen reports:

The HSE is now acknowledging people are waiting an average of four to five days to get tested; add in at least another two days for the swabbed sample to be processed and results reported back to the patients, and that gives an average delay of a week.

This is bad news for a system allegedly following the World Health Organisation advice to “test, test, test”. It is also of concern that it has taken so long for the system to admit to the delays, after journalists were last week being fobbed off with non-specific answers to their questions.

…The real problem is that the delays in testing are causing knock-on delays in contact tracing, the other essential element in the two-pronged approach used by Asian countries to successfully tackle their epidemics.

…The weekend has been dominated by discourse about a minority of people not observing social distancing rules. In reality, we are more likely to need a lockdown as a result of misfiring testing and contract tracing systems than because people chose to take walks on beaches and in parks.

Coronavirus: Delays in testing and tracing are the real problem (Paul Cullen, The Irish Times)