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Ireland places huge orders for virus test equipment

AFP  |  London 

Ireland has placed huge orders for Covid-19 testing equipment and protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers, health officials said on Sunday.

Some 40,000 test kits are being distributed and an additional 20,000 will be in place by Wednesday, Health Service Executive director general Paul Reid told a press briefing in Dublin.

Talks with countries, including China, are ongoing to try and ensure that 100,000 test kits arrive per week.

"Our health care system is going to be under pressure that we probably never knew previously," said Reid.

There are 785 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, where the disease has killed three people.

In addition, the HSE has added 10,000 beds, doubling its previous capacity, he said.

A total of 50 test centres will be set up across the country and a navy ship, the Samuel Beckett, served on Sunday as a test centre in Dublin.

Ireland, which normally spends 15 million euros a year on personal protective equipment, has already spent 60 million euros since January.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 22 2020. 21:52 IST