"It's easier to get Garth Brooks tickets than a PCR test", Dáil is told
People are waiting days.
Getting your hands on a ticket to see Garth Brooks is easier than booking a PCR test at the moment, a sentence we never thought we'd hear.
The Dáil was told today that it is easier to get a ticket to one of the country singer's five Croke Park gigs than it is to be Covid tested.
Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty said that it is now "impossible" to book a PCR test in most counties as the demand has soared over the last number of weeks.
The HSE's self-referral portal now has no availability in almost 20 counties, with Doherty saying people are now offering to swap their concert tickets for a PCR test.
“I’m sure we’ve all seen the comments on social media, the bit of banter about how it’s easier to get Garth Brooks tickets in the state than it is to get a PCR test,” Doherty told the Dáil
“Others are posting that they’ve got Garth Brooks tickets and are willing to swap for a PCR slot.
“While that might be a bit of light banter, the reality is very, very serious.
“It’s impossible to book a PCR test in most of this state.
“In Dublin there is no slots available, Carlow none, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Meath, Offaly, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, West Meath, Wexford or Wicklow.
“Not a slot to be got for love nor money.”
The Government has been facing huge criticism over the delays in getting an appointment as people are now forced to wait days or travel huge distances just to get a test.
The HSE has the ability to carry out over 30,000 tests each day but the sector is understaffed.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said there has been an “extremely high and sustained” demand for tests in recent weeks, along with people suffering from other respiratory illnesses.
“It is necessary for us to prioritise and to adjust testing criteria in order to prioritise those most in need of a test,” he added.