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CORONAVIRUS: Testing to be ‘ramped up’ to 1,300 per day

CORONAVIRUS testing in the North is to be increased to 1,300 per day during next week, the Health Minister has claimed.

Amid growing concern locally that not enough testing for the disease was being carried out, Robin Swann said that hospital lab testing capacity was “constantly increasing”.

In a short statement released to the Ulster Herald, he said, “Capacity will be increased to 1,000 tests per day by the weekend, with a further increase to 1,300 during next week.”

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Currently, only people who are admitted to hospital are being tested, as well as ‘key’ healthcare workers.

Key healthcare workers include staff working in emergency departments, critical care units, primary care and frontline ambulance staff.

There have been increasing calls for all healthcare workers in the North to be tested to check whether or not they have been infected.

Statistics released by the Public Health Agency (PHA) on Tuesday showed that, of all the five health trusts across the North, the least number of tests had been carried out in the Western area, which covers much of Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry.

The latest PHA data, published online yesterday (Wednesday), showed that, so far, 341 tests had been completed in the Western Trust, out of a total of 3,372 across the whole of the North.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW