Call for rapid Covid test kits at airports

Call for rapid Covid test kits at airports

Cork Airport Covid-19 measures.

IRELAND has been urged to procure rapid Covid-19 tests to implement at airports around the country.

A Cork expert has highlighted its importance amid increased Covid-19 cases in parts of Ireland in recent weeks.

Tom Cotter, professor of biochemistry at UCC, said Ireland must buy rapid tests from abroad. “We must buy from abroad as it’s too late to try to make our own at this stage,” explained Prof Cotter.

“There is a supply issue for rapid test kits at the moment.

“These are the kits that detect viral proteins in the saliva and take 30 minutes,” he added.

“The more sensitive Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests are the ones currently used in Frankfurt and Rome airports, for example, and have a six-hour turnaround time apparently.”

He recently highlighted the importance of Ireland ensuring it is not importing cases of Covid-19 through ports and airports.

“Quarantining is not enforceable but testing at airports would reduce potential transmission of infection but won’t catch all those carrying the virus,” he said.

“It takes three to four days after you encounter the virus before tests can detect it.

“So you could easily miss these people,” he added, explaining that low tourist numbers can ensure less importation of the virus.

Management at Cork Airport recently called for changes in terms of Covid-19 testing at airports.

Management recently set out five key points for the government to address in a bid to ensure the future of the airport.

They called for the reform of the green list and the introduction of “any required bi-lateral agreements around Covid testing for Red Zone countries”.

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