DUBLIN – Irish labs to scale up coronavirus testing capacities

Ireland’s ‘chase around the world’ for stocks of a reagent vital for coronavirus testing has received a boost after the country obtained a supply of the substance from international markets.

The head of the Health Service Executive, Paul Reid, said on Sunday (5 April) that the new supply would be subject to risk assessments and quality testing before being put into action.

Reid also said that Irish labs would scale up their testing capacities, aiming to conduct 4,500 coronavirus tests in total every day, dependent on the availability of the ‘guanidine thiocyanate’ reagent.

Until now, labs in the Republic have been restricted to conducting approximately between 2,000 and 2,500 tests daily. 

That figure dropped to around 1,500 last week after a shortage of the reagent. 

However, Reid also said that the Health Service Executive is “still looking at other EU solutions as we continue to source the reagent supply,” adding that the supply of the substance is a “very significant worldwide challenge.” (Samuel Stolton | EURACTIV.com)

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