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New system HSE portal to register positive antigen tests will open tomorrow, minister confirms

The Minister for Health has admitted people will be able to submit fake positive tests: 'We are relying on people doing the right thing'


Health Minister Stephen Donnelly

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly

The HSE portal which will allow people to register their positive antigen tests will open tomorrow.

The system will be phased in during the day, according to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and positive antigen tests, as well as close contacts, will also be able to be uploaded.

The Minister for Health has admitted people will be able to submit fake positive tests.

“We are relying on people doing the right thing,” he said.

“Is it open to a bit of play acting? It is, but I have no doubt, and certainly, I was talking to the HSE team this morning on it, they’ve reported that that has been the case and it is being used very responsibly by people.”

Minister Donnelly said there are still “quite a lot of people” to get their booster as new rules for boosted close contacts kick in from tomorrow.

He said he hopes not everybody will contract Covid-19.

“Probably about 500,000 people a week are getting Omicron so it’s not a contained virus,” he said.

“If about half a million people are getting it a week at the moment, certainly a lot of people in the country will have had it at this point.”

Minister Donnelly said Nphet have suggested that because there’s a lot more cases which are not reported, the peak of the Omicron may pass without being picked up.

“We’ll know afterwards, because there’s so many cases that we’re not recording,” he said.

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He also said to reach herd immunity, a “very high” number of people who have either been infected or have been vaccinated is needed, because the variant is very contagious.

“The more contagious these things are, the higher the number of people you need either vaccine immunity or natural immunity. I would imagine, given the extraordinarily contagious nature of Omicron that the number would be very high,” he said.

The HSE was forced to clarify last night that it will not provide higher grade masks for people who are close contacts but that do not have to restrict movements under the new rules, as suggested by the chief medical officer.

Mr Donnelly said “the issue around masks” would be kept under review.

He said the Government’s view is that nobody wants restrictions in place and that the metrics to judge the trajectory of the virus are “very encouraging”.

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