Seanad debates

Monday, 26 April 2021

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Robbie GallagherRobbie Gallagher (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

Dr. Michael Ryan, the Irishman an executive director of the World Health Organization, WHO, said at the beginning of the pandemic when giving advice to world governments: "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." I thought about that statement many times in respect of our response to Covid-19. One example is that of rapid antigen testing, the pros and cons of which we seem to be discussing for an eternity. We eventually got around to doing a report on it and when this was compiled, it recommended that it be rolled out on a pilot basis across different sectors as we try to aid reopening. Meanwhile, other countries, including our closest neighbour the UK, have been using antigen testing for a long time now. Indeed, many businesses that I know in County Monaghan in the transport sector and meat plants were using antigen testing as far back as last August and found it to be a very useful tool in their fight against Covid-19 because businesses cannot hang around, wait and dilly-dally to keep their businesses going and have to try to keep the show on the road and move on. They have moved on and have found this test to be very useful tool. Even Professor Paddy Mallon recently said that we should be using rapid antigen testing immediately in our fight against Covid-19.

We seem to be overcautious and too slow in making some decisions. We are a bit like the guy who wants to wear the belt and the braces. We need to roll out very significant antigen testing immediately across all sectors as we try to open up and get our country back to normality again. It is a useful tool, which we should use, and I would like us to get on with doing this as soon as possible.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.