Regional delays in PCR testing and results placing unnecessary burden on families - Violet-Anne Wynne TD
48 hours into waiting for Covid-19 PCR test results, Sinn Féin TD for Clare Violet-Anne Wynne has stated that the current deficiencies in the Covid-testing regime are inexcusable.
Earlier this week, there was a lack of PCR testing appointments to be found across the county and a person trying to access a test was given an appointment two days later.
Teachta Wynne said:
“I was feeling unwell at the weekend and rang to book a test on Monday as I went from bad to worse on Sunday. There was no test available for Monday, so I was given a Tuesday appointment.
“I attended the appointment I was given for Tuesday morning at 11.20am. It has been more than 48 hours, and I still have not received my results.
“I was on Clare Fm last week speaking about how the government’s lack of forward planning and appropriate diligence in terms of utilising antigen testing, increasing ICU capacity and ensuring adequate ventilation systems are in place in schools etc. are having detrimental impacts on the lives of Irish people.
“Two years into the pandemic and we still haven’t got testing right. We haven’t got tracing right. We haven’t got capacity right. What has this government been doing for two years?
“It is extremely unfair that this Cabinet’s incompetency is bearing down on families and preventing them looking forward to Christmas in the knowledge that the systems in place to mitigate the risks of this virus, such as testing, tracing and ICU capacity are still not fit for purpose.
“It is worse in certain parts of the country of course - we did not need a pandemic to expose how balanced regional development still remains a buzzword in policy documents but has a long way before it is actually achieved.
“I do feel like Clare constituents are faring worse than those in the East and closer to Dublin. The only Long Covid treatment centre for example, is in the capital. What does that offer a Clare person suffering from Long Covid? A seven-hour round-trip to access treatment for a condition characterised by chronic exhaustion - it is unconscionable.
“I know other members in Leinster House who have been tested over the past few weeks and all of them have received their results within 24 hours.
“This is not a reflection on the frontline work being done by those staffing testing and vaccination centres, these people are working to the best of their ability, and I commend their efforts considering the particularly high volumes of people presenting recently.
“But the government's mismanagement of the rise in cases is doing untold damage to the mental health of families up and down the length of our country. I am deeply frustrated with the mishandling of the basic Covid-19 responses.
“My anxiety is magnified by the fact that I am six months pregnant and feel this delay is causing huge concern to me and my family. I am concerned for all who are left waiting as it makes everyday decisions incredibly difficult and undoubtedly places extra burdens on families."