There are no PCR tests available in 14 counties 1 week ago

There are no PCR tests available in 14 counties

With over 500,000 people experiencing flu-like symptoms in the last week, there have been additional demands for PCR tests.

PCR test appointment shortages are affecting numerous counties this morning.

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According to RTÉ, there are no PCR tests available in Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Kerry, Laois, Louth and Leitrim.

On RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Ireland's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said that he understands people's frustrations with the lack of available tests.

He stipulated that last week, over 500,000 people experienced cold or flu symptoms and that this figure would be challenging for testing capacity.

He told Byrne that there is "no testing system in the world that can ramp up testing to 20% of its population in a week-on-week basis".

Glynn went on to say that the core messaging right now is for people to self-isolate as soon as they begin to experience symptoms.

He added that even those who get a negative PCR test result should isolate until their symptoms are gone.

He also advised the unvaccinated to restrict their movements if anyone in their household begins to experience symptoms of Covid-19.

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The HSE's lead for the test and trace programme, Damien McCallion, has said that there is pressure for the service to meet demands for testing.

In the last week, the system provided over 200,000 PCR tests in Ireland.

On Morning Ireland, Mr McCallion said that the defence forces and private sector are being enlisted to help reduce wait times for appointments.

Recently, additional centres have opened in Dublin, Cork and Limerick and more testing centres are expected to open up around the country shortly.