There is “no plan at the minute” to increase testing for coronavirus in the Fermanagh area according to a health chief at the Western Health and Social Trust but it was stressed that the situation is very fluid and that current guidelines, "which the Trust must follow", could change at any moment.

Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Services at the Western Trust, was speaking at a media briefing at the South West Acute Hospital which was also attended by Dr. Ronan O’Hare, Assistant Medical Director at SWAH. Dr. O’Hare took the opportunity to assure the public that capacity was there to perform more tests: “The public health agency gives us a task and we address that task… if we get an instruction to increase the number of tests then we shall.”

Mrs. McKay explained that the Trust must follow guidance from the Public Health Authority and that the guidance surrounding testing had not changed as of yet.

The Government at Westminster, last night, announced that the UK is to increase testing for coronavirus and when asked what the plan was to implement this in the Fermanagh region Mrs McKay was candid in her response: “There is no plan at the minute, and I know this is really hard for you to hear. But the guidance is as it is at the minute. The guidance right now is that we test patients who are for admission. It (planning for community testing) has not come to this region yet.”

Mrs. McKay continued to say: “I think it is really important that Northern Ireland as a region has a collective approach, so the Trusts are all working together on this. So irrespective of how an individual might feel about it, frustrations or otherwise, we are taking our advice from the Chief Medical Officer; and the Public Health Authority is the body that has been charged, alongside the board, with producing the advice that we must follow.”