| 14°C Dublin

Testing times Rapid Covid-19 testing pilot begins today in four of Ireland’s universities 

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris confirmed the rapid testing pilot will begin today at NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork (UCC).

Close

Minister Harris confirmed the pilot would begin today at four universities.

Minister Harris confirmed the pilot would begin today at four universities.

Minister Harris confirmed the pilot would begin today at four universities.

A rapid testing and surveillance system has commenced in four universities today in an effort to support the return of third-level students to campuses.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris confirmed the rapid testing pilot will begin today at NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork (UCC).

The project, which will be called UniCoV, will conduct a large-scale comparative analysis of rapid testing technologies for use in monitoring and preventing the spread of Covid-19 in education settings.

Speaking about the pilot, Minister Harris said: “Tomorrow, I will bring a memo to Government confirming a significant increase in on-site college activity from September.

“Rapid antigen testing may potentially be an element of this system. If proven through piloting and feasibility, the benefits of rapid testing could be a significant additional tool in our fight against Covid-19. It does not replace the public health advice.

“Thousands of students and staff will participate in the study. It will be optional but I really would encourage staff and students to participate and help us with our plans for return to college and help us learn more about rapid testing.” Minister Harris said.

UniCoV will explore rapid antigen testing and saliva-based nucleic acid testing to develop integrated surveillance systems to assist the safe and sustainable re-opening of HEI campuses and society.

The UniCoV project is led by Professor Breda Smyth, NUI Galway and Director of Public Health, HSE West.

“Students in Ireland have shown significant resilience in adapting to the challenges that Covid-19 has created. However, evidence suggests both in Ireland and internationally this is not without adverse effects including reduction in academic performance, social isolation and deteriorating mental health and wellbeing,” Professor Smyth said.

“UniCoV will inform surveillance systems to support the provision of safe campus environments and provide evidence to facilitate return to campus activity for staff and students in Further and Higher Education Institutes.”

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy