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Patients Must Now Have Two Maj...

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Patients Must Now Have Two Major Symptoms To Qualify For Coronavirus Test

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

8:02 AM - 25 Mar 2020



Thousands of people waiting for a COVID-19 test who don't have an appointment yet will now not be tested and will have to contact their GP again.

Patients will need to meet revised criteria to qualify in future and will have to display two major symptoms - a fever and either a cough or shortness of breath.

They also need to be either contacts of a confirmed case, healthcare staff or vulnerable group.

Dr Tony Holohan, the Department of Health's Chief Medical Officer, says they have to prioritise cases due to the levels of demand.

He explained: "With the significant increase in testing that we've had, still only 6% of those are confirmed cases.

"That has been a challenge - to continue to reach all the people who would seek a test, and to get those tests to people in the timeframes that they would like."

The Department also last night said contact tracing has shown the average number of close contacts of confirmed cases has decreased to around five people - down from more than 20 - due to social distancing measures and advice.

Last night it was announced there have been 204 new cases of coronavirus in Ireland - bringing the total number to 1,329.

A man in the east of the country with an underlying health condition has also died after being diagnosed - meaning there have now been seven COVID-19 related deaths here.

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Sven Hoppe/DPA/PA Images

 



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