Infectious diseases consultant does not understand why antigen tests not being used

Infectious diseases consultant Dr Eoghan de Barra has said he does not understand why antigen tests are not being used
Infectious diseases consultant does not understand why antigen tests not being used

Vivienne Clarke

Infectious diseases consultant Dr Eoghan de Barra has said he does not understand why antigen tests are not being used.

It would be pragmatic to use any means that can detect the virus, he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Dr de Barra pointed out that antigen testing was being used elsewhere in the world and there had been two reports recommending their use. “I’m at a bit of a loss why they (the reports) weren’t implemented.”

'Living and breathing Covid'

Having a third of ICU beds occupied by Covid patients was a burden on the system and staff were exhausted, he said. Workers in other sectors could “turn it off” but healthcare workers were “living and breathing Covid every day".

Dr de Barra said he understood the work from home if possible recommendations even though nightclubs were open. Going to a nightclub was an occasional event while going to work entailed being in an office day in, day out with other people which was a bigger risk.

Human behaviour

Human behaviour was going to be a major factor in the fight against Covid, he said. Boosters were coming which would help.

When asked if the health system was close to breakdown, Dr de Barra said that he did not think the system was at that point, it was still functioning. He acknowledged that elective work was being cancelled, but some was going ahead.

Israel had already “come out the other side” following their booster campaign, he said. “There is a way through this.”

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