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Covid-19 wave hasn't hit yet but frontline testing could get us ahead of the curve

Martina Devlin


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Testing times: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Health Minister Simon Harris and Cillian de Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, duing a visit. Photo: Aidan Crawley/EPA-EFE Pool

Testing times: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Health Minister Simon Harris and Cillian de Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, duing a visit. Photo: Aidan Crawley/EPA-EFE Pool

Testing times: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Health Minister Simon Harris and Cillian de Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, duing a visit. Photo: Aidan Crawley/EPA-EFE Pool

There is much we don't yet know about Covid-19. But there are some things we do know which could be used as part of the containment drive. Number one, we know it's highly contagious. Number two, we know people in frontline healthcare are more exposed to the virus than others in the population - among those who've contracted it, one in four is a health worker.

In Spain, the infection rate is 15pc frontline health workers and in Italy it is 9pc. This compares with 26pc in Ireland. So our infection rate for healthcare professionals is higher than any known rates in Europe, even in countries harder hit by Covid-19.


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