HCSA warns testing failures risk fresh Covid-19 hospital outbreaks

HCSA has urged the government to resolve the shortcomings of the Covid-19 testing system or risk new dangerous coronavirus outbreaks in our hospitals.

The warning comes after the ministers admitted that the test and trace system was struggling to keep up with demand, leaving people in some areas facing long journeys to access a test amid “rationing”.

HCSA President Dr Claudia Paoloni said: “Every barrier placed in front of a potential carrier getting a test increases the risk of an Covid-19 outbreak in our hospitals.

“Anything that increases the risk that people won’t or can’t get tested raises the prospect of unmonitored transmission. Hospitals, as a hub where multiple people are mixing on a daily basis, are extremely vulnerable to missed cases.

“The government must get a grip on this situation now. As we head into the autumn the load on the testing system is going to increase sharply. It cannot fail, or we will see the consequences in our hospitals.

“There is a vanishing window of opportunity to get this right.”