President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh has welcomed Government investment for free, rapid Covid-19 testing for students through Project UniCov.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. announced that a fund of €9m. It is being made available to further and higher education institutions to provide for antigen testing.
“NUI Galway welcomes Government investment of this scale for our student community,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said.
“The €9million fund will allow universities to provide rapid antigen testing kits to students for free. This will in turn help them to monitor their health and protect others in the community.
“Through Project UniCov and Professor Breda Smyth, NUI Galway has been leading efforts through the summer and over the course of this semester. They want to encourage students and staff to sign up for free antigen testing kits. The testing is just one of a number of layers of protection that we have in place. The increased availability of testing kits will be great value for our university and the wider community in coming months.”
What is Project UniCov?
UniCoV is a multi-site, randomised controlled clinical study. It is led by the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) in partnership with Trinity College Dublin (TCD). This is in addition with University College Dublin (UCD) and University College Cork (UCC).
It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the four universities and the HSE and supported by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science and Department of Health. UniCoV will further develop and apply testing, screening and surveillance strategies, proven tools used by Public Health to assist with early warning systems for disease, in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Ireland.
Involving both students and staff, the UniCoV study explores the feasibility and acceptability of self-reporting, self-testing and biosamples surveillance systems. This is to assist with the safe and sustainable re-opening of Higher Education Institutes’ (HEI) campuses, and society more broadly.
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