Calls for Covid-19 testing centre in Inishowen

Calls for Covid-19 testing centre in Inishowen

Calls for Covid-19 testing centre in Inishowen

The recent spike in Covid-19 numbers in Inishowen has prompted a call for the HSE to provide a Covid-19 test centre in the peninsula.

The HSE is operating two Covid-19 test centres in Donegal, one at the St Conal's campus in Letterkenny and one in Donegal Town.

Speaking to Inish Times, Inishowen Cathaoirleach Albert Doherty (Sinn Féin) described the spike in positive Covid-19 tests as “disconcerting and upsetting for all”.

Cllr Doherty added: “Giving particular concern in Inishowen is the speed of the increase and the number of Covid-19 cases confirmed in the Carndonagh and Buncrana Electoral areas. A collective response is required and the interruption of the transmission of the virus now is vitally important.

“A pressing concern locally is that a journey to Letterkenny for testing can take some Inishowen family members up to 90 minutes, effectively a three hour round trip. This is an unacceptable and unfair situation for our community.

“I am requesting that, as a priority matter a central location for additional Covid-19 testing is provided by the HSE and is located in the Inishowen Peninsula, as a matter of urgency.”

Cllr Martin McDermott (Fianna Fáil) said one of the problems with Covid-19 is that people may be asymptomatic and going about their business unaware they are infectious.

Cllr McDermott added: “This is particularly dangerous. However, I am aware that 99% of people are getting their test results back pretty quickly, within 24 or 48 hours and the contact tracing which is being carried out is very good.

“It is very clear that the numbers in North Inishowen have certainly increased dramatically in the last couple of weeks. Now, more than ever, we need to stick to the regulations and stick to social distancing and do our best to try and stop this because if we don't, we are probably going to end up in another lockdown and the businesses in Inishowen cannot afford that. I don't think they could survive, a lot of them, another lockdown.

“We have to be honest with ourselves and look at the bigger picture and look at what we could lose by not doing what we are being asked. It is difficult for pubs. It is difficult for young people. However, we need to keep businesses and jobs and if we all work together, I think we can stop this again.

“We want to be in a position coming up to Christmas were we can go home to our families and spend a bit of time and that is the most important thing,” said Cllr McDermott.

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