600 people who were either symptomatic or a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case, failed to turn up for a test in the Mid West in the last week alone.
Of the missed appointments, 376 were recorded at the St Joseph’s Test Centre in Musgrave Street and this figure will likely be higher when the first returns from the new drive through testing centre at East Point are confirmed.
The HSE has confirmed to the Limerick Post that appointments made by family doctors for suspected cases have been missed 600 times in the month up to October 25.
This equates to almost one in ten people referred for a test not showing up for their appointment.
The new testing centre at East Point on the Ballysimon Road has speeded up testing and handled 160 tests in its first three days of operation.
Anyone who has had a test from a doctor’s referral is being told they have to self-isolate for fourteen days or until they get a clear result
But despite the pandemic still claiming lives in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary, people are failing to turn up in droves to be tested.
Many may be concerned at not being able to work for two weeks, but the HSE has stressed the importance of taking the test, even if it proves negative.
However some members of the public say they are being given more than one appointment for testing.
Sinn Féin TD Violet-Anne Wynne, has expressed deep concern abut the trend of people staying away.
“I am deeply concerned about the continued trend of no shows to Covid tests across Clare, Limerick and Tipperary in recent days,” she told the Limerick Post.
“The HSE have said that up to late last week there have been around 600 missed appointments for Covid testing.
“It would appear that this trend has continued into this week.
This equates to around ten per cent of tests not being carried out. It is deeply concerning.
“I have also been informed of a number of people from West Clare bring referred for testing in Limerick City and even North Tipperary.
“I have again written to the Minister asking for this trend to be stopped and calling for a pop-up centre in West Clare to ensure rapid access to testing, similar to the centre that was opened in County Limerick at the start of September.
“I would again encourage all people offered tests to attend their appointment. The only way we can fight this is by keeping a track on the virus in our communities.
“We must ensure we do this to make sure we can re-emerge from Level Five at the start of December as planned,” she said.