CMO rejects Lowry claims on antigen testing

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The Chief Medical Officer has refuted claims by Tipperary TD Michael Lowry about a perceived resistance to the use of antigen testing here.

Deputy Lowry questioned Dr Tony Holohan at the Oireachtas Transport Committee yesterday, saying there’s a political consensus that such testing should be used to allow for more air travel.

Deputy Lowry says the reliance on slower but more reliable PCR testing was contributing to economic hardship for aviation workers.

“The hopes, the dreams and the aspirations of workers has been shattered in that sector.”

“There lives are in turmoil, they despair about their future and their ability to survive.”

“Now those workers across aviation are stricken with deep fear and anxiety and they feel that the ability to control their own future has been snatched from them by NPHET and government policy.”

In response, Dr Tony Holohan said that the PCR testing is a better option in Ireland as it’s widely available.

He also disputed Deputy Lowry’s assertion that antigen testing is not being supported by NPHET.

“Our position on antigen is not as articulated by you. Our position in relation to antigen testing is that they are used in situations where its supported by the evidence.”

“We’ve outlined already on a number of occasions today circumstances in which their use is endorsed by us and made available in symptomatic situations and in high risk situations.”