Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has expressed concern about antigen testing kits that people can buy off the shelves in supermarkets.
Lidl Ireland today began selling tests in stores across the country at a cost of €24.99 for a pack of five.
As we add these antigen tests to our range, we urge our shoppers to continue to stringently follow the public health advice. We hope that by offering them, these tests will add an extra level of reassurance to our customers as they follow that advice. pic.twitter.com/RJx21lq2fd
— Lidl Ireland (@lidl_ireland) May 6, 2021
However, Dr Holohan told a media briefing today that he believed people are genuinely confused about antigen tests.
He said such tests only have a role to play in “strictly controlled circumstances” where the result is not going to lead to “inappropriate reassurance“.
The CMO added that he was “really concerned” that people would feel safe when they may not be.
He feared they might then undertake activities “they should not be and put people at risk” and this a “real risk to our pandemic response“.
The CMO cited the example that if “one person attended a wedding with the disease – in half of circumstances the antigen test will not pick up that case“.
Dr Holohan said he and his team are “strongly advising people – don’t buy these and don’t use them“.