Eastwood repeats call for mass testing programme


Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood has repeated his call for a Covid-19 mass testing programme in Northern Ireland to compliment the vaccination rollout.

The Foyle MP said that mass testing is critical to the recovery phase of this pandemic and will allow the Executive to get ahead of clusters before they spread across the North.

Colum Eastwood MP said:

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the SDLP has been clear that a mass testing programme is a critical tool in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. As we begin to think about what the recovery phase of the pandemic will look like, it’s even more important that we have a way of getting ahead of new clusters of the virus to avoid the need for mass restrictions again.

“The British Government is expected to make an announcement about a mass testing programme that could see hundreds of thousands of testing kits issued every day. It’s important that the Executive is resourced and prepared to operate a similar programme to protect communities here.

“We need to learn from our experience of this virus. The Executive failed to prioritise mass testing during the initial outbreak, we now have an opportunity to address that and respond better. I will be raising this matter with the British Government and the SDLP will press for a mass testing programme in the Executive.”

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