Thursday, 29 April 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
As we progress our vaccine roll-out and move towards the reopening of society, we must avail of every option to get business and industry fully operational as safely as possible. I have consistently raised with the Tánaiste the urgent necessity to utilise rapid antigen testing. We now also have available new technology, namely, a rapid PCR test that gives an accurate result within one hour. I do not understand the reluctance to follow the worldwide example of using rapid testing to detect Covid. Professor Mark Ferguson, who chaired the Government's rapid testing group, outlined that tests are easy to perform and generate rapid results. They detect both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers. They can provide a means for the construction industry, hospitality and retail to move forward towards a faster and sustainable reopening. Why have the National Public Health Emergency Team, NPHET, and the HSE dithered on this issue? What is the Government's current stance on introducing rapid testing in both the public and private sectors?