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Páirc Uí Chaoimh coronavirus testing centre closed due to lack of testing kits

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Coronavirus test (PA)

Coronavirus test (PA)

Massive orders have been placed for Covid-19 testing equipment and protective gear for staff, Ireland’s top health service official Paul Reid said (Brian Lawless/PA).

Massive orders have been placed for Covid-19 testing equipment and protective gear for staff, Ireland’s top health service official Paul Reid said (Brian Lawless/PA).

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Coronavirus test (PA)

Coronavirus testing in Páirc Uí Chaoimh has been cancelled today due to a lack of testing kits.

During a televised press conference, the HSE confirmed testing at the GAA stadium in Cork had to be abandoned today due to a lack of specialised medical equipment.

The testing centre is expected to re-open tomorrow.

HSE’s head of communications Paul Connors said the sites was closed due to the “availability of testing kits”. “They will be up and running very soon as in tomorrow is my understanding,” he added.

Yesterday, a HSE spokesperson said: “Pairc Uí Chaoimh has provided community testing since last Sunday and has run extremely well, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our staff,” The HSE said 10,7000 people have been given appointments for a test while 4,800 are waiting for a time and date.

Independent.ie also understands that testing for the coronavirus at Tallaght Stadium did not go ahead today.

People with suspected coronavirus who received appointments to provide a swab at the a purpose built, state-of-the-art stadium, which hosts Shamrock Rovers home games were told it was not opening today.

Several people who have potential symptoms of the virus and are in priority groups for testing turned up at the stadium and learned their appointments would be rescheduled.

One of those involved said there was no sign or notification at the stadium and they only found out it was closed after contacting the HSE.

Some 15,500 people have been referred for testing since the criteria was tightened and confined to priority groups such as people with lowered immune systems and healthcare workers last week.

Around 4,800 are still awaiting an appointment.

The health service said it is testing around 5,000 people a day at various sites around the country.

The HSE also confirmed they are developing a tracing app which will let people know if they are living near people diagnosed with Covid-19.

Self isolation facility

The press conference was held in the Citywest Hotel which is to become an isolation and step down facility during the health crisis.

It will have a capacity of 1,100 beds.

Speaking at a department of health press conference this morning at the hotel, CEO of the HSE Paul Reid outlined that the hotel will be used for a self-isolation and a stepdown facility in order to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

The self-isolation facility is one of the first few which will be rolled out in urban centres across the country and is due to open this coming week.

The self-isolation facility will have 750 bedrooms available with 1,100 beds across the entire campus.

It will support people who belong in either one of three categories and are not able to self-isolate at home.

Those categories are- those who are asymptomatic and need to self isolate, those who have mild symptoms and may be awaiting a test or tests results and those who have received a positive test result and have mild symptoms.

The facility will not be used for those who need critical care.

"Dedicated exercise areas and meals will be provided throughout the stay," said Mr Reid.

"We're conscious people may not have the capacity to self-isolate at home and it is the first of other facilities which we plan to deploy across the country."

The overflow, stepdown facility, will only be used if "worst case scenario" for people who may have been in hospital and treated for the coronavirus but "not yet able to come home".

450 beds with a "dedicated nursing station and support for dedicated care" will be made available.

It is expected to open in two to three weeks.

"We'll have the full facility available over the next couple of weeks.

"It is an overflow facility which we hope not to use but we are prepared," added Mr Reid.

As of this afternoon, no hospitals that have reached full capacity and there are 88 people in ICU across the country.

Private hospitals will also be made available for public use over the course of the pandemic, which will provide an extra 2,000 beds, 100 critical care beds, 200 ventilators and 500 consultants.

The first batch of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be delivered at Dublin Airport from China via an Aer Lingus flight later on today.

Between now and next Wednesday, €26m worth of PPE will be delivered, totalling 1.6m masks, 400,000 eye protections, 265,000 gowns and 254,000 gloves will be delivered.

According to Anne O'Connor, Chief Operations Officer of the HSE, a peak of the coronavirus is expected in mid April, between April 10-14.

Online Editors