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Former Health Minister on visit to Carlow and Kilkenny suggests Government will have to look at subsiding antigen test costs

Simon Harris, who's now Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, will be part of today's discussions

Government will have to look at subsidising the cost of antigen tests.

That’s according to a former Health Minister.

Simon Harris is due to take part in this morning’s meeting of Cabinet which is set to focus on discussing covid measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Last night the cabinet sub-committee heard up to 500 people with Covid could require ICU admission by next month, under a worst-case scenario – in new NPHET modelling.

622 people are in hospital with the virus, with 117 being treated in intensive care.  The latest local figures show that 11 were most recently being treated at St Luke’s General for Carlow and Kilkenny.

Ministers will also consider the need for covid certs to access gyms, hairdressers and barbers, the wider use of antigen testing and a booster programme for those aged 50 and over while a relook at working from home is also on the agenda.

Minister  Harris was in Carlow and Kilkenny yesterday and as part of that visit he dropped into our studio for a wide-ranging chat on KCLR Live.

During that he spoke about how he’s already rolled out antigen testing in Colleges, something he thinks could form part of the government’s new plan, and added that subsidising the cost of antigen tests might be required if there’s a need for us to use them regularly.

Hear his conversation in full with our Eimear Ní Bhraonáin here: