The number of tests carried out daily for coronavirus is less than half the average daily testing capacity according to data in a seven day period up until June 15.

In response to a query from this newspaper, the Public Health Agency (PHA) said the average daily testing capacity for Health and Social Care Trust laboratories for the seven day period ending June 15 was 2,128 tests a day.

They added that the National Initiative testing capacity in Northern Ireland is determined by the numbers of bookings on the digital platform and can be altered on a daily basis in response to demand for testing.

Daily updates by the Department of Health show the number of completed laboratory tests carried out in Health and Social Care Trust labs in a 24 hour period.

Since June 1 up until June 15, the Department’s daily statistics have shown 13,582 individuals have been tested in Northern Ireland, an average of 905 tests daily.

The average for the seven day period up until June 15 when capacity was 2,128 tests daily was 960 tests.

In the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area there have been 824 individuals tested over the first 15 days in June, an average of 55 tests a day.

St. Angelo airport, outside Enniskillen is being used as one of the four National Testing Centres in Northern Ireland and currently has a capacity for 315 tests per day.

In a two week period from Wednesday, May 27 to Wednesday, June 10, 320 people have attended the site for Covid-19 sampling/swabs, an average of 23 tests a day.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area remains the least affected area in Northern Ireland with 86 positive cases, with the last of them being reported on June 4.

With contact tracing underway in an attempt to contain coronavirus, the PHA is urging anybody who has symptoms to get tested to help reduce the spread of the virus.

A spokesperson for the PHA said: “The PHA would urge everyone who develops symptoms to self-isolate and book a test. If the result is positive, we encourage you to work with the Contract Tracing Service to identify close contacts so we can follow up with them. If you are contacted by the Contact Tracing Service, we urge you to follow the advice you are given. If all of us work together, adhering to public health advice and making use of the testing and tracing services that are available, we can help reduce the spread of the virus. For further information, see”

If a result is positive, this will enable contact tracers to identify people who have been in contact with a positive case and try and contain the spreading of Covid-19.

New weekly contact tracing data which is now published reveals that in seven days activity up to Wednesday, June 10 101 positive cases were transferred to the contract tracing system, with 81 of those cases having completed contact tracing.

167 contacts were identified, not including staff and patient contacts in a hospital/Trust setting as these are managed by the relevant Trust, with 146 contacts successfully contacted and advised.

Contact tracing operates off positive test results recorded at one of the four regional test centres, including St. Angelo.

However, due to the potential impact on patient confidentiality, the PHA are unable to provide data on how many people in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area tested positive.