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20 Jan 2022

Donegal GP urges people to limit socialisation in the face of ‘rampant’ Covid-19

'There is going to be an issue with PCR testing in the next few days until the two extra days over Christmas is run through the system'

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Dr Denis McCauley said the critical issue is not testing, but people with symptoms self-isolating until they know whether they have Covid or not

A Donegal GP has urged people to limit their socialisation “as much as you can”  in the face of “rampant” Covid-19.

As testing centres struggle to cope with the demand, Dr Denis McCauley said the spread of the disease was showing up in the number of positive tests “rather than people getting very sick”.

“At the present minute it is very rampant,” he said, with testing centers trying to put four days of testing into two days.

The Stranorlar-based GP, who is chair of the Irish Medical Organisation’s GP committee, urged those with symptoms, a positive antigen test, or who are a close contact of a positive case, to self-isolate.

“There is going to be an issue with PCR testing in the next few days until the two extra days over Christmas is run through the system, “ he told RTÉ. “I think there will be an increase in demand because it is so rampant.”

READ MORE: Significant rise in Covid-19 patients at Letterkenny University Hospital

He said PCR testing will become less important “because of the sheer volume of people with Covid at the present moment”.

The critical issue is not testing, but people with symptoms self-isolating until they know whether they have Covid or not, he said.

“The test is important but it is not the starting line. You don’t have to wait until your PCR before you actually isolate. That is the most important message for the next four or five days.” 

Dr McCauley said this week is “a limbo week” and there will be a much clearer message from case numbers next week.

He urged people to limit socialising as much as possible and to get a booster vaccination.

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