Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has called for wider use of regular antigen testing in the new year.
Senator O’Loughlin said “The amount of people who utilised antigen testing effectively over the Christmas period and successfully prevented onward transmission clearly shows the key role they can play in protecting our loved ones and our communities.”
“Unfortunately many people have had to self isolate this Christmas on the back of a positive antigen test, but it gave them an early indication that they may be infectious and it allowed them to alter their behaviour accordingly. There is a possibility that many people could have brought covid into their family homes had they not utilised antigen testing.”
“It is clear that they have proved their worth and that they should form a key part of our 2022 covid strategy. They should be free or subsidised in certain circumstances and we should be using them in education, in hospitality and in other higher risk environments.”
Senator O’Loughlin concluded “The use of saliva based antigenic tests should also be looked at in my view, as a non invasive option for younger people or those who fear the nasal swabs. Screening is key. If we want people to practice personal responsibility, then we need to equip them to make informed decisions.”