A Cork GP has appealed to those with symptoms of Covid-19 to do what is within their power to reduce the spread of the virus.
Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) Covid Lead Dr Nuala O’Connor said that while antigen tests “have their place”, those with symptoms need a PCR test.
It comes as the IMO and the ICGP met to assess the situation for GPs who are facing an enormous demand for PCR tests from patients with symptoms Dr Nuala O’Connor said “As GPs we cannot diagnose COVID without a PCR test and it is really important that everyone with any symptoms, even mild ones, self-isolate and await the results of a PCR test.
Both Dr O’Connor and Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) GP Chair Dr Denis McCauley are calling on the public to focus on what they can do to help reduce the spread of Covid.
As GPs we cannot diagnose Covid without a PCR test and it is really important that everyone with any symptoms, even mild ones, self-isolate and await the results of a PCR test.
“Antigen tests have their place but where symptoms are present you need a PCR. It is incredibly frustrating for patients, but we really want to keep everyone as safe as possible and that means following basic public health advice,” Dr O’Connor said.
Dr McCauley said: “GPs, like all other parts of the health system, are extremely busy with both COVID and non-Covid presentations. It is really important that we continue to care and treat non Covid issues so we need public support to reduce the spread of this disease to allow capacity for other care to continue.
“The best way to stop the chain of transmission is to self-isolate as soon as you have symptoms and await the result of a PCR test. Vaccination has given us hope and reduced serious illness and death among those vaccinated, but we are not out of the woods and must continue with the basic measures.”
In an appeal to the public to do what is within their power to reduce the spread of Covid and all other respiratory illnesses, the IMO and the ICGP advised those who have symptoms to arrange a PCR test and to follow the public health advice and continue to isolate for 10 days since first developing symptoms and you have not had a fever for five days if the test is positive.
If the PCR test is negative but a person still has symptoms they are advised to continue to restrict their movements until 48 hours after symptoms have passed to stop the spread of other winter viruses.
They have also advised people in receipt of an invitation to receive the Covid-19 Booster to attend in order to “protect yourself, your family and your community”.