Covid-19 Testing Practices: Why They Matter. And Why They Don't.

Published on 01/05/2020

Further to his paper from early April 2020 on Ireland's Covid-19 Testing Practices, UCD Sociology's Dr Seán L'Estrange has provided an update on Ireland's performance.

His new paper Covid-19 Testing Practices: Why They Matter. And Why They Don’t notes Ireland's improvement in the global testing rankings but also higlights some areas for concern. First, based on available figures, Ireland's Covid-19 death rate is amongst the worst in the world. Second, the border with Northern Ireland and the radically different levels of testing in the UK are 'a matter of serious concern'.

The paper concludes by looking at what testing actually means. Testing, in and of itself, is neither a good nor a bad thing. What matters is how the information it collects is used. It seems that in the Irish context this will mean identifying and isolating individuals and their social networks. Such 'localised lockdowns', in combination with social distancing, may currently be the most effective method of avoiding further 'general lockdowns'.