The HSE has been urged to upscale covid testing capacity due to increasing demands and delays in accessing the service.
s of 1.30 pm today, there were no appointments available to book at any time in Carlow, Cork, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.
The HSE message advises, “If there are no appointments currently available, check back later. Appointments may become available later in the day.”
There is no option to book a self-referral appointment in those counties at any time today or tomorrow.
The only counties where you could get a test today was Donegal and Kerry.
Of the remaining counties, the only ones you could get an appointment within 24 hours were Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, and Sligo.
GP’s can still refer those with symptoms for a test but are witnessing delays.
Monaghan based GP Dr Ilona Duffy said walk-in test centres in areas with high levels of Covid-19 must be opened up and urged the HSE to upscale their testing capacity.
“Delays in accessing PCR tests is creating huge frustration for people with symptoms, who are then relying on antigen tests, which are not always accurate.
“I’ve made a couple of referrals, and usually, by the time a patient is off the phone from me, they would have a text with a time for their test.
“I’m seeing much longer response times.
“It’s about capacity for the HSE, but you have to wonder how they didn’t see this coming and upscale.
“They are going to bring in private companies, but it hasn’t happened yet.
“The time will come when people who feel they can’t get an appointment in a timely manner just won’t bother.”
The situation comes as the 14-day incidence of Covid-19 in Ireland is now over 1,266 cases for every 100,000 people.
The counties with the highest incidence are Westmeath, with 1,792 cases for every 100,000 people; Louth has 1,757 cases per 100,000 people, and Carlow has 1,709 cases per 100,000 people.
The latest data is from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows that overall, the average age of cases is around 33.
Of the 60,309 cases reported over the 14 days, the source of transmission is still under investigation in 40,362 or almost 67 per cent of cases.
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