PCR test system pressures as HSE seeks more capacity

HSE Chief Executive HSE Paul Reid has mentioned work is below strategy to enhance capacity for Covid-19 PCR assessments.

Online self-referral appointments weren’t out there in quite a lot of counties once more right this moment – as demand for testing continues to rise.

This night, the HSE's on-line portal confirmed there have been no Covid-19 PCR assessments out there in 23 counties.

The solely counties providing appointments are Donegal, Mayo and Roscommon, which had 752, 524 and 197 respectively.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has appealed to anybody with signs to limit their actions whereas ready for a PCR test – and to not use an antigen test.

He mentioned he absolutely appreciates the frustrations persons are feeling across the lack of availability of Covid-19 PCR assessments.

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He agreed that the scarcity of testing is inflicting issues however mentioned it’s "impossible" to ramp up testing to the size that will be required to test everybody inside a day or two.

He informed RTÉ's Today With Claire Byrne present that between 500,000 and 700,000 folks final week had chilly or flu-like signs. There was "no testing system in the world that can ramp up testing to 20% of its population in a week-on-week basis," he mentioned.

Dr Glynn mentioned that the core message is for folks to isolate as quickly as they develop signs.

He suggested that even these individuals who get a destructive PCR test ought to isolate as lengthy as they’ve chilly or flu-like signs, including that anybody unvaccinated, of any age, wants to limit their actions if another person of their family has signs.

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Earlier, the HSE's lead for the test and hint programme mentioned that regardless of offering over 200,000 PCR assessments within the final week, there may be stress to attempt to meet the demand for well timed PCR assessments nationwide.

Damien McCallion mentioned that a million folks have had PCR assessments within the final six to seven weeks, and whereas laboratories are working nicely, the stress is being felt at swab centres.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he mentioned that testing capacity has been ramped-up with the assistance of the personal sector and the Defence Forces.

Additional centres have opened in Dublin, Cork and Limerick in latest days and more are deliberate.

He mentioned the nation is in a wave with important demand and "hitting levels none of us thought we would ever hit".

PCR assessments are being prioritised for acute hospitals, medical referrals and call tracing.

Mr McCallion mentioned the HSE is working to attempt to enhance capacity for PCR testing, however "there are limitations we will hit".

He mentioned that ongoing recruitment is occurring, however that "no one test is a silver bullet, it is a combination of measures".

The Minister for Foreign Affairs mentioned the system is "not perfect" as he appealed for persistence and cooperation from folks awaiting PCR assessments.

On RTÉ's News at One, Simon Coveney mentioned that regardless of 25,000 assessments being carried out every day, there are stress factors in some areas.

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Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid mentioned 210,000 PCR lab assessments have been accomplished previously week.

"I fully acknowledge our staff are exhausted, they are frustrated, they are tired", Mr Reid informed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health.

He mentioned 82% of these examined will get outcomes inside 24 hours, however he acknowledged there are delays.

"It is really important that people who feel they need a PCR test … do restrict their movements for at least 48 hours" after signs abate, Mr Reid added.

Mr Reid mentioned that "the entire health system is now under very serious pressure", including that the newest Covid surge will "place even more pressure on staff" with "a huge demand" being manufactured from workers and sources.

As of this morning, over 630,000 booster vaccines had been administered, with 72,000 of these given to immunocompromised folks.

Rise in cancellation of elective surgical procedures

Mr Reid additionally informed the committee that round 1,000 elective surgical procedures have been cancelled previously month.

He mentioned that "we are still making reasonable progress" in addressing the cancellation of elective surgical procedures.

There have been 180 cancellations per week in September, which rose to 350 per week in October.

Mr Reid mentioned the HSE had overseen a internet enhance of consultants of 333 since January 2020.

He was responding to Sinn Féin's David Cullinane, who additionally requested concerning the variety of antigen assessments out there.

Mr Reid mentioned the HSE has a "drawdown contract" and has two million antigen assessments, and might entry "at least ten million" more and "can extend that further".

"Stock is not the factor," he acknowledged.

primarily based on website supplies www.rte.ie

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