COVID-19 LATEST: 26 more die, 701 new cases, plans to carry out 100,000 tests per week
Twenty-six more people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 701 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It brings the overall death toll as a result of the virus to 1,087. There are now 19,262 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country.
The latest casualties were confirmed as it emerged testing for the virus will be ramped up significantly over the coming weeks.
Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid earlier outlined details of a new model that can deliver over 100,000 coronavirus tests per week, which has been formally agreed with the Secretary General of the Department of Health.
Mr Reid said a new national infrastructure to support the country into the future for pandemics will need to be built with more integrated laboratory oversight and more sustainable models around contact tracing.
The HSE chief said a lot has been achieved in putting call centres in place, establishing new processes and agreements with GPs to support testing and tracing, and the securing of 27 labs and 47 testing centres across the country.
Mr Reid said in future we will have to look at the Irish health system through a new lens and fundamentally challenge how we deliver services into 2021 as it becomes clear that Covid-19 will be here for a long time.
He said that we will have to build a longer term model “not just a wartime model” to deliver all healthcare services over the coming years.