Drive-in test centre for coronavirus opens in Cork; the facility is for referred patients only

Drive-in test centre for coronavirus opens in Cork; the facility is for referred patients only
St. Mary’s, Gurranabraher, Cork City for CoronavirusPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

A drive-in test centre has opened in Cork to screen people who have been referred for testing for the coronavirus, it has been revealed.

The initiative opened at St Mary’s Health Campus in Cork city and can test members of the public for Covid-19, which has killed at least one person in Ireland and affected 70 others.

The Echo understands that only members of the public who have been referred to the service can attend for screening — no self-referrals are permitted.

The new centre comes just days after the UK implemented a similar scheme.

Some countries in Asia and the Middle East have introduced drive through screening with some success.

It is hoped that the scheme will prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Cork, as over 70 cases have been confirmed across Ireland.

Builders prepare an Isolation Unit at Grove House, St. Mary’s, Gurranabraher, last Monday for CoronavirusPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Builders prepare an Isolation Unit at Grove House, St. Mary’s, Gurranabraher, last Monday for CoronavirusPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The introduction of the drive-through test centres comes amid reports of challenges in accessing personal protective equipment (PPE) for GPs.

An email sent from leadership of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) to GPs across Ireland informed them that a preliminary delivery of PPE will commence today and should be completed by Wednesday.

However, the email also states “supplies are challenging at the moment” but the ICGP hopes the latest PPE equipment delivery will support GPs sufficiently.

GPs have also expressed concern about their capacity and ability to order tests, according to the email.

The Department of Health confirmed yesterday that 27 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland.

Twenty-two cases are associated with local transmission, two are associated with community transmission, and three are associated with travel.

Three of the new cases are in intensive care units bringing the total number of patients in ICU to six.

There are now 70 confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland.

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