Backlog of Covid-19 tests to be cleared by end of week

Backlog of Covid-19 tests to be cleared by end of week
Pictured is Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE, in Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin, today as he delivers the Weekly Operational Update on the response to Covid-19. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

The Health Service Executive (HSE) says the backlog of Covid-19 tests, waiting to be processed, will be cleared by the end of the week.

Testing for Covid-19 is currently being carried out at 25 laboratories, including 20 hospital laboratories around the country in addition to a laboratory in Germany.

Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE said at a briefing today that the backlog of tests in Ireland was around 35,000, but this figure has now been reduced to 11,000.

Some 80 per cent of these remaining tests will be processed in Germany.

Mr Reid acknowledged that there were some areas where there is some uncertainty including around sustaining the support Ireland has through German laboratories, a continuous supply of reagents and building up capacity here.

He said the aim is to clear the backlog of tests and meet all of the demand for tests this week, while it is hoped test processing will be scaled up next week.

In the region of 800 people are waiting to be tested, or for appointments to be tested, today.

Meanwhile, the HSE is currently looking into an issue which meant a number of people who were tested for Covid-19 may have received a text message to say they tested negative, but subsequently received a call to say they tested positive. 

The number of affected patients is not known. 

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