Professor Philip Nolan hits out at Lidl antigen tests saying they "will not keep you safe" 1 month ago

Professor Philip Nolan hits out at Lidl antigen tests saying they "will not keep you safe"

Earlier in the week, CMO Tony Holohan said the tests pose a “real risk to our pandemic response”.

Professor Philip Nolan has hit out at Lidl's new range of antigen tests on Twitter, saying they "will not keep you safe".

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The president of Maynooth University and Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group took to Twitter to reply to a tweet that the retailer had put out in response to comments made by Dr Tony Holohan earlier this week.

"Can I get some snake oil with that? It makes for a great salad dressing with a pinch of salt and something acerbic," he said.

"Stay safe when socialising outdoors over the next few weeks. Small numbers, distance, masks. These antigen tests will not keep you safe."

Nolan was responding to a tweet from the retailer which read: "Weekend Super Savers! Pick up a pound of sausages, charcoal for the BBQ and antigen tests for €31", alongside a photograph of the three items.

Lidl later clarified that the post was a "joke" and encouraged their shoppers "to continue to stringently follow the public health advice."

“We have added these antigen tests to our range to add an extra level of reassurance to our customers as they follow that advice," they added.

Earlier this week, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan said store-bought antigen tests pose a “real risk to our pandemic response" after Lidl started offering packs of five antigen tests for €24.99 across its 168 stores.

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Speaking at Friday's Nphet briefing, the CMO said: “We are concerned that someone could go into the supermarket and buy a pound of sausages and charcoal for a BBQ, and an antigen test. That represents a real risk to our pandemic response.

"These tests, if not used properly, have little role to play. If it falsely reassures people, that's a real risk.”

He continued: "I'm very concerned about that. Supermarkets are free to sell what they sell…but it's about what people do and the buying of them that I am concerned about.

“Individuals could get inappropriate reassurance, feeling that they're safe when they're not, undertaking activities that they shouldn’t be, and putting other people at risk. And we are really concerned about that.