BREAKING: Third Covid-19 testing centre to open in Limerick as politicians hold crisis meeting with CMO

Lack of covid testing capacity discriminates against Donegal

A THIRD Covid-19 testing centre is to be opened in Limerick in response to the current surge in cases across the city and county.

That's one of the recommendations which has emerged from a meeting involving local public representatives, the Minister for Health, the Chief Medical Officer and other public health experts.

In a statement issued following the meeting, Minister Stephen Donnelly said the current incidence rate of Covid-19 in Limerick (426 cases per 100,000 population) is too high and poses a serious risk to public health. 

“Public health doctors have told us that this spike is a result of indoor socialising and workplace outbreaks. Unfortunately, this sharp rise puts our hard-won progress against Covid-19-19 at risk. It is simply too soon to stop adhering to the public health measures that have protected us so well for so long," he said.

Minister Donnelly says the current situation in Limerick is a stark reminder for the rest of us across the country of the risk that Covid-19 continues to pose.

"We cannot let our guard down now. All of our collective hard work and sacrifice has contributed to the success of our vaccination programme and the progress we have made so far with reopening our economy and society. Our priority in Limerick - and indeed around the country - is to suppress the virus until such a time that we have the vast majority of our population vaccinated. We have one of the highest uptakes of vaccination in Europe, and our ability to respond to surges in the past has been second to none. Let’s focus on this, and the public health measures that work."  

Limerick TD and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins says a number of important points came out of the meeting.

In a post on social media, he says a local lockdown is not currently planned and that the further re-opening of the hospitality sector on Monday will proceed as planned across Limerick.

Deputy Collins says he has received assurances that another walk-in testing centre will be opened in Limerick in the coming days - at a location outside of the city where there are currently two centres.

Meanwhile, a further 75 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Limerick this Friday bringing the total number of cases over the past fortnight to nearly 800.

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