Lowry urges greater use of antigen testing

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Tipperary TD Michael Lowry has told the Tánaiste that he doesn’t understand the Government’s reluctance to use widespread rapid Covid testing.

He raised the issue in the Dáil with Leo Varadkar, saying that it would be helpful in ensuring a sustainable reopening of the economy, in sectors like construction, hospitality and retail.

Rapid antigen tests can offer results within 15 minutes, but aren’t as reliable as PCR tests in producing accurate results.

However, Deputy Lowry says they’re worth using across the public and private sectors.

“I do not understand the reluctance to follow 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.”

In response Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said there will be increased use of rapid testing.

“We are seeing a lot of antigen testing now in many workplaces around Ireland. Antigen testing in outbreak scenarios, antigen testing also being piloted in schools and in colleges and we will see more of that in the coming months.”