People seeking Covid-19 tests must display two symptoms under new criteria
It was confirmed on Tuesday that a seventh person had died as a result of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland.
People seeking tests for Covid-19 will have to display two symptoms of the virus following a recommendation by the National Public Health Emergency team (NPHET).
From now on, those who wish to be tested for the virus must display a fever and at least one sign of a respiratory disease – a cough or shortness of breath – to be eligible for testing after the NPHET recommended adopting the World Health Organisation case definition for Covid-19.
Up until now, presenting to one's GP with a fever or a cough was considered sufficient to be referred for a Covid-19 test. Speaking at a Department of Health briefing on Tuesday night, however, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan said that public health officials had “cast the net too widely, in good faith”, with up to 20,000 people a day seeking to be tested.
The priority now, Holohan said, would be to focus on people in hospital and healthcare workers, with the new recommendations likely to result in a sharp decline in the number of people getting tested.
204 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,329. It was also confirmed that a seventh person, a male in the east of the country with an underlying health condition had died after contracting the virus.
24 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 172 and the total number of cases on the island of Ireland to 1,501.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a range of new measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland on Tuesday, including limiting outdoor social gatherings to four people and the closure of all non-essential retail services.
The government also announced a series of income support measures for workers affected by the Covid-19 emergency; more information on those is available here.