McGrath presses Health Minister on testing.
Health Committee member, Colin McGrath, South Down SDLP MLA, has pressed the Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Medical Officer,Dr Michael McBride on the urgent need to increase the numbers of people being tested for COVID-19.
Speaking at the Health Committee meeting, the South Down MLA said:
“I took the opportunity to raise with the Health Minister the issue of testing. It is my view that we urgently need to ramp up the amount of tests we are conducting, particularly for our heroic health service workers, who are exposed to the deadly virus.
Nobody doubts the hard work and professionalism of our health service and its leaders, but it beggars belief that we are not testing those with symptoms. The World Health Organisation have been very clear that the best way to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus is by testing. Indeed at best practice from other countries, it is clear that testing is the best way to fight back against COVID-19.
“I welcome the fact the Health Minister confirmed that they have increased numbers being tested in recent days and there are plans to further increase testing in the coming weeks.
“I also took the opportunity to press the Minister and Chief Medical Officer on the availability of and access to Personal Protective Equipment for our health workers, but also for retail, postal and other essential service workers. They are putting themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe and they must be protected.”
“I will continue to engage with the Minister and colleagues in the Health Committee and across the Assembly Chamber to play a constructive role in the fight against Coronavirus,” said Colin mcGrath.