Surge in children looking for COVID tests

GPs report big demand since schools reopened
  • Deborah Condon

GPs have reported a "surge" in the number of children looking to be assessed for COVID-19.

According to the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), this increase in assessment requests is occurring nationwide.

"Our GP members right across the country are reporting a very significant increase in requests from parents for assessments of their children for possible COVID 19. We had anticipated a development like this following the long awaited reopening of the schools, but we are nevertheless struck by the volume of enquiries being received by members," commented chairperson of the IMO's GP Committee, Dr Denis McCauley.

He emphasised that the IMO supports the reopening of schools and described the increase in demand for COVID assessments as "positive".

"It demonstrates that parents are monitoring their children's health closely. It also allows the GP an opportunity to assess each presentation and to filter out non-essential testing, but also to pick up important non-COVID presentations.

"By being proactive, parents are doing their bit to prevent the spread of COVID within the schools and the wider community," he commented.

He said that parents are doing a great job, "but it is important that all of us in society support this by doing our bit - hand washing, social distancing and reducing contacts".

"We cannot forget the basics and if anyone has symptoms, they should immediately self-isolate and contact their GP," Dr McCauley said.

He added that parents with concerns about COVID-19 should focus on fever, sudden onset of cough, or a child who is generally unwell with loss of taste or smell.


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