More than 2,700 people are awaiting an urgent test for bowel cancer and a further 19,000 are awaiting a thorough colon examination, according to new figures published today by the Irish Cancer Society.

Over 1,300 of the 2,700 are waiting longer than 28 days, the target time set by the health authorities themselves for such tests. However, over 300 are waiting more than 90 days.

The Society says the figures show that the Covid-19 disease crisis is hampering testing services for bowel cancer.

The Society is calling on the Health Service Executive to urgently address this problem in case people are not treated promptly.

The Society says that those waiting for a colon examination are already showing signs of cancer and need to attend to them without further delay.

Last week, Health Minister Simon Harris said cancer tests would resume by the end of this month.