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HSE calls on the public to apply for testing, swabbing and contact tracing, and will also seek applications in the coming weeks for paid roles

People of Ireland will have to pay for covid testing in coming weeks. HSE CEO Paul Reid today said HSE will be looking in the coming weeks for paid roles for testing, swabbing and contact tracing.

HSE has asked the public to apply for testing, swabbing and contact tracing positions in the coming weeks. Reid said 62,000 tests were completed in 46 labs last week, averaging 12,000 tests per day.

Mr. Reid also requested that people come forward voluntarily for paid testing. He said the facility has been redeployed to meet testing demand at various stages and for faster testing.

Reid said that as part of HSE’s serial testing programme, 3,000 tests were completed among meat plant workers, and a positive rate of 0.4% were confirmed. He stressed the testing of workers in food processing sectors such as fish and mushrooms will be expanded.

In the Direct Provision Centers where several positive cases have been confirmed in the last few weeks serial testing have started well, he added.

It is heard that 375 HSE Corporate Staff has been deployed for testing and contact tracing. In the early days of Covid-19, when health services were shut down, adequate clinical staff were assigned to perform swab testing.

Public Health Medicine HSE Specialist Dr. Sarah Doyle said that HSE ‘s contact tracking teams found one out of five contacts positive in a symptomatic case, while one out of 20 contacts were positive in an asymptomatic case.

Earlier it was reported that people seeking other treatment were suffering due to Covid-19 and more than 200 patients were on trolleys due to lack of space in the hospital beds. In such a scenario the concern about what will happen now that the Covid testing is further expanded remains.

In an analysis of new confirmed covid cases in last week, the chair of NPHET’s Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Professor Philip Nolan, said the epidemic is growing slowly across Ireland. Health officials have confirmed one new covid death and 89 new cases in the country.

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