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'We need three or four different ways' to move away from mass testing - McConkey

Professor Sam McConkey says we should be examining 'three or four different ways' to move away fr...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.45 13 Sep 2021


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'We need three or four differe...

'We need three or four different ways' to move away from mass testing - McConkey

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.45 13 Sep 2021


Share this article


Professor Sam McConkey says we should be examining 'three or four different ways' to move away from mass testing for COVID-19.

He was speaking as a paper being considered by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) proposed testing could be scaled back.

The paper suggests testing vaccinated people, and children under 13, with mild symptoms should be 'discouraged' if they do not deteriorate over 48 hours.

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The document on moving away from mass testing suggests a 'stepwise' approach, according to the Irish Times.

The more selective testing would mean it would only happen if a health professional thinks it is necessary.

However the Health Service Executive (HSE) says there are no immediate plans to scale back testing.

Prof McConkey is head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

He told Newstalk Breakfast the current regime is medicalising daily life.

"I do think there's some really good points in this paper - for instance, it point out that we want to stop medicalising daily life, and I think that's really really true.

"We're all sort of tired of the ubiquitousness of COVID-19 and Sars and swabbing and all these things in our life.

"They also say minimise the unintended social adverse consequences of COVID - and I really value and cherish that.

"I cherish that we're now... thinking aloud about diverse ways that we could evolve and make things better.

"So this is a time now of transition, of moving into a relationship with Sars2 and COVID-19.

"They're exploring one way of doing that, I think we probably need three or four different ways and then a bit of a public discussion about how that goes."

And he says delays in schools, with potentially several days between a child being positive and the school receiving support, need to be looked at.

"It seems to me our capacity to manage the outbreaks that we already know about today in Ireland is a bit limited.

"There's often two or three days waiting, we've heard that before from people who run nursing homes, there just wasn't that support.

"We really need to build a world-class population health system in our country that has enough people to deal with all the outbreaks".

'We need three or four different ways' to move away from mass testing - McConkey

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   

Main image: Professor Sam McConkey. Picture via @RCSI_Irl on Twitter

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Covid-19 Mass Testing NPHET Newstalk Breakfast Royal College Of Surgeons In Ireland Sam McConkey Schools Waiting Times

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