28 MFómh 2020, 17.30

The Special Committee on Covid-19 Response will get an update from HSE chief executive, Paul Reid on the rising number of detected cases of Covid 19 and the testing and tracing system in place, at a meeting in Leinster House, tomorrow, Tuesday, 29 September.

Mr Reid  and Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) director, Dr John Cuddihy will  appear before the Committee of TDs in Leinster House, Committee Room 3 at 10am.

Speaking before the meeting, Committee Chairman Michael McNamara TD said: “It is imperative that the Committee hears from the HSE before producing its final report. 

 “The latest rise in detected cases of Covid-19 is happening as the Winter flu season looms; with the seasonal pressure it places on hospitals and emergency departments. Members want to get answers from the HSE on its current test and trace system capacity and the current turnaround times in operation.

 “An efficient test and trace system, with a quick turnaround time, has been highlighted by national and international experts as essential in the battle to fight the spread of Covid-19. The Committee recommended in its Interim Report on Testing and Tracing, that the HSE’s target turnaround time for end-to-end testing should be at most one day.”

 “The Committee also hoped to hear for the acting CMO and NPHET arising from the “Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19” 5-level plan, in particular around the conspicuous lack of any published scientific criteria setting out when a county is required to be raised to a higher level of restrictions and, similarly, the criteria to be achieved for a county to be reduced to a lower level with less restrictions on the lives and livelihoods of it people. Therefore,  questions arise on the scientific basis upon which NPHET makes it recommendations to Government, which have invariably been followed to date.  Nevertheless, for a second successive week  - the last week on which the Committee is scheduled to have sessions  - we have been informed that NPHET will not be attending to answer any questions,” McNamara said. 

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is scheduled to appear before the Committee on Wednesday at 10am.

Watch the Committee live

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Committee membership

Teachtaí

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Sinn Féin

Independent

Fianna Fáil

Sinn Féin

Green Party

Fianna Fáil

Michael McNamara - Cathaoirleach

Independent

Fine Gael

Independent

Social Democrats

Solidarity - People Before Profit

Labour Party