No decision reached yet by Government on antigen test subsidy
The Government hopes to reach a decision "soon" on the possibility of subsidising antigen testing for the public.
Speaking to RTÉ News on Tuesday, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe noted that work has commenced behind the scenes and he hopes a solution will be arrived at shortly.
"We are looking at whether and how a subsidised model of making antigen testing available could help with our public health efforts," said Donohoe.
"That work is underway between Stephen [Donnelly] and Minister McGrath and I am playing a role in this and I hope the work will conclude soon and that we will be able to outline how antigen testing could be further available."
Donohoe went on to note that the issues facing the Government on subsidised antigen testing include how the tests would be made available in various different retail outlets in addition to the overall financial impact thereof.
"Of course, we are looking at what would be the cost in relation to this," he said.
"But of course, anything that slows down and contains the spread of Covid; the cost of that has tended to be a very good investment in the context of the huge economic harm that's being done by Covid in the first place.
"And then, thirdly, how we would make sure we would have adequate supply in the right places in the event that were was to be a change in the subsidy level."
Donohoe reiterated his hope that the work will arrive at a conclusion very soon but pointed to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly as the individual who will ultimately outline the process.
Earlier on Tuesday, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that there is evidence to support the idea that Irish people have begin to cut down on their social contacts following the introduction of further restrictions.
As of Monday, 684 patients are hospitalised in relation to Covid-19, of which 126 are in ICU.
5,634 new cases of the virus were confirmed by the Department of Health on Tuesday.
Featured Image of Paschal Donohoe via Julien Behal Photography / RollingNews.ie