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Health Minister Deems Comments On Antigen Testing As Unhelpful

The Health Minister has criticised NPHET's modeling expert Professor. Philip Nolan for comparing antigen tests to snake oil.

Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly says the comment was unhelpful and antigen testing is a part of government policy when it comes to re-opening.

Late last week budget supermarket Lidl began selling antigen test, heavily promoting the take-at-home tests.

In a tweet Professor Philip Nolan, NPHET's main modeling and forecasting expert, compared them to snake oil - saying antigen tests will not keep people safe.

NPHET has long had concerns about the effectiveness of antigen testing, which isn't as reliable as PCR tests.

But Health Minister Stephen Donnelly criticised the remarks from Professor Nolan.

The government has been promising wider use of antigen testing for months, somewhat held back by the concerns of NPHET.

But the tests will be used in Catherine Martin's trials of big sporting events and gigs.

They've also been discussed for use in the safe return of students to college campuses in September, including in Maynooth where Prof Nolan is University President.

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