Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Health): Statements
Gino Kenny (Dublin Mid West, People Before Profit Alliance)
I am sharing time with Deputy Paul Murphy. I have two questions for the Minister. The first concerns testing of front-line healthcare workers. Healthcare workers across the world have suffered a terrible toll in fighting this pandemic. In Britain, 200 NHS workers - doctors, nurses, care assistants and auxiliary staff - have died. It has been a terrible toll. In Ireland, more than a quarter of front-line workers have contracted the virus. That is 25% and that has also taken a huge toll.
It takes three days for a front-line worker to be tested and for the result to come back. Does the Minister envisage a time when the period relating to testing front-line workers will be much shorter? It has to be under 24 hours. I offer the example of a nurse who does a shift, finishes work and is then tested for Covid-19.
Does the Minister envisage that nurse having to work his or her next shift, which may be the next day, without having received a test result? It seems impossible that this could be allowed.