People should be able to get antigen tests for free to combat the surge in covid cases.
That’s according to one immunologist after 3,726 cases were recorded yesterday.
It’s the highest figure since mid-January while the 14-day incidence rate is now 695 cases per 100,000 people.
“I completely agree that we have been backward about antigen testing,” said Christine Loscher who is a Professor of Immunology at DCU
“I think antigen testing needs to be made freely available and I think we need to get into the habit in our own households that we check everybody twice a week.
“That needs to become part of our own monitoring in everyday life. That needs to be made available and it needs to be made free.”
The HSE says antigen tests have a part to play in controlling covid cases but other measures still have to be followed.
She said the rising case numbers are not surprising given the loosening of restrictions as winter sets in.
“If you look at what has happened in the month of October in all of the other European countries, we are actually seeing a very similar pattern,” she said.
“If you look particularly at countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Poland that have all had the same kind of weather change and circumstances we have had in the last month, their cases are multiplied by five, by seven and even by 20 over the last month.
“So, our cases have gone up, but they haven’t gone up to the same extent as they have in other European countries.
“Things have changed coming into the winter. Behaviour has changed and what we are doing in terms of mingling has changed but it is not out of kilter with what we are seeing elsewhere.
“This is Delta and we haven’t dealt with Delta in a winter situation before.”