A NEW ‘Covid-19 Primary Care Centre’ is expected to open today (Monday) at the South Tyrone Hospital in Dungannon.
It is one of several centres which are being set up across the North which will give initial treatment and assess patients suspected of having the infection and suffering severe symptoms.
The hospital complex in Dungannon – which no longer has any acute services – has been a hub of activity in recent days, thought to be linked to the setting up of the new service which was first unveiled at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry last week by the Health Minister Robin Swann.
Dungannon councillor Barry Monteith said he understood that a deep clean had been carried out at the hospital site as part of the preparations for the new centre.
The councillor said he hoped the facility could play an important to role in treating those affected.
It has also emerged that Garvaghey Centre is on standby for use as a medical facility in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
Health authorities have been told the complex is ready to play its part in the battle, along with a number of club premises in the county.
County chairman Michael Kerr said: “They’re aware that it’s there for whatever purpose they see fit to use it, and we’re happy to help in whatever way we can.”
Last week, the Health Minister Robin Swann stated that the new Covid-19 Primary Care Centres were not testing facilities and are only for patients who are “very unwell” and “are suspected of having Covid-19”.
Patients will not be able to report directly to these centres without being referred by their GP or Out of Hours provider.
The North’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr Michael McBride has said he hopes to see testing increased this week to 1,100 per day.