Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn said it is impossible to ramp up Covid-19 testing to the scale that would be required to test everyone in a day or two.
However, he said he fully appreciates the frustrations people are feeling around the lack of availability of PCR test.
Glynn said between 500,000 and 700,000 people last week had cold or flu-like symptoms in Ireland.
He then said there was “no testing system in the world that can ramp up testing to 20% of its population in a week-on-week basis”.
His comments come as the HSE’s online portal shows there are no Covid-19 PCR tests available in 21 counties this evening.
These include Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, Kerry, Laois, Louth and Leitrim.
IMAGE – Twitter/ronan_glynn