New measures for Covid-19 containment were introduced yesterday March 24, 2020.
Amongst these measures include new Covid-19 testing criteria , wherein patients must have a "fever and at least one sign of respiratory disease, for example cough, shortness of breath" according to the government.
Additionally, if you have been in contact with a high risk group such as healthcare workers, those with an underlying illness, prisoners, and those who have been subject to long term care, you will be tested.
This change comes as HSE staff and laboratories are overloaded with testing and are currently experiencing a backlog of approximately 20,000 people a day.
Those who have been waiting to be tested and have not received an appointment will now not be tested.
Testing algorithms will now be updated to reflect this new method.
Health care workers are waiting on more test kits to arrive due to the unprecedented volume of people getting tested for the virus. A shipment of tests are expected to arrive later this week from South Korea.
South Korea are manufacturing approximately 100,000 testing kits per day and has become the world supplier of Covid-19 testing kits.
The government also placed a substantial order for protective gear, including gowns, masks, shields and more.
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