More that 40,000 people waiting for Covid-19 tests while thousands more wait for results

But Chief Medical Officer says self-isolation should be the priority

coronavirus covid-19

Coronavirus Covid-19 testing being expanded says GPs

More than 40,000 people are waiting to be tested for Covid-19 with tens of thousands of requests for test being received daily.

That is according to Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, who said he hoped to see a significant increase in the number of people being tested in the coming week.

Dr Holohan said the best response for people who showed symptoms was to self-isolate. He also stressed that anyone with a GP recommendation for a test should self-isolate, as should their family.

"They should act as if they have the condition," he said. "The important thing is not to transmit."

When asked if the Department of Health was prioritising when it came to testing, Dr Holohan acknowledged that a degree of prioritising was necessary.

"We want to try and continue to test as quickly and as broadly as possible," he said. 

But the massive increase in demand made this a huge challenge.

"In that context clearly we want to ensure that people who have clinically advanced disease are tested," said Dr Holohan. "That will be our priority."

It is expected that up to 50 test centres will open in the coming weeks.

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