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Test centre tailbacks cause chaos

December 5th, 2021 8:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

As of 8am today, 435 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 38 are in ICU. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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A FULL review of operations has been called for at West Cork’s only Covid-19 test centre at Ballinacarriga following traffic chaos on the road outside the GAA grounds last Friday morning.

Sen Tim Lombard told The Southern Star that there was a long tailback on the road outside the centre and one member of the public told him they were on the public road for 45 minutes before getting into the GAA grounds where the centre is located.

‘It was complete chaos there with the amount of people trying to access the site and the road management and access points needs to be seriously looked at,’ said Sen Lombard.

‘You can’t have cars parked on the public road for 45 minutes in a continuous queue. Some parents spent almost an hour and a half in their cars with their children which  caused them huge stress.’

Sen Lombard said a review of the site is needed, especially as there is a growing demand for PCR tests.

‘The staff there are doing a great job but more personnel is needed there and there has to be a better traffic management system put in place. Also the booking systems needs to be overhauled.’

A spokesperson for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said that a traffic management plan is currently in place at the testing centre in Ballinacarriga, which was recently reviewed.

‘With the introduction of RocDoc at Cork Airport this has helped ease the pressure in Ballinacarriga, as people had been travelling from all over Cork to Dunmanway for testing,’ she said.

‘We are also doing everything possible to provide extra appointments, and we are now carrying out in excess of 2,600 tests every day. We are still aiming to provide tests within 24 to 36 hours.’

The spokesperson said there may be occasions when it is not possible to book an appointment online but she urged people to check availability throughout the day.

‘All testing centres across Cork and Kerry are working at capacity and we have opened temporary sites to increase the number of appointments available. All testing is by appointment only and people should book on hse.ie or via their GP.’ Meanwhile, the HSE is recruiting staff to undertake swabbing for community testing centres at Dunmanway and Cork city.

Full training is provided and no clinical experience is needed. See hbsrecruitmentservices.ie for more details.

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