Paul Reid says HSE are considering use of antigen tests for close contacts 2 months ago

Paul Reid says HSE are considering use of antigen tests for close contacts

He said he had "huge concerns" over "what's happening in the UK".

HSE Chief Paul Reid has said that the Health Service Executive (HSE) are considering using antigen tests for close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

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Speaking on RTÉ's This Week on Sunday, Reid said the health service is "extremely busy" adding that nobody wants to see a return to "the dark days of January" where over 2,000 people were in hospital with the virus.

He said that while the success of Ireland's vaccine rollout programme is a reason to be optimistic, the National Public Health Emergency Team's (NPHET) modelling could present "huge issues" for the health service.

Reid also said that the HSE would be open to a "planned and pragmatic approach" for the easing of restrictions.

"I've always been very clear, long time restrictions, lockdowns of the community, of enterprise and business, is not good for the health service either," he said.

"On the extreme end of it, what's happening in the UK, we would have huge concerns."

Earlier this week, Reid said that the Delta variant will "out match" the supply of Covid-19 vaccines in Ireland over the coming weeks.

Speaking at a Department of Health press briefing, he said that people who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated need to be very careful amid concerns over the Delta strain of the virus.

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“Our most likely scenario is that the spread of Delta will out match our supply of vaccines over the coming weeks," he said.

"It's really key that we do take it quite serious and treat it with the concern it deserves."