UPDATE: ‘Extraordinary times’- Defence Forces set up Covid-19 test centre at WIT Arena
This was the scene at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Arena today as nationwide preparations to deal with the expected surge in Covid-19 cases gets underway.
Members of the Defence Forces could be seen working to erect what appears to be make-shift tents in the car park of the Arena fitness centre.
In a statement to WaterfordNow.ie, WIT confirmed the college, in partnership with UPMC under the direction of the HSE, “have commenced preparations to set up a testing facility for Covid-19 at the WIT Arena”.
The statement added: “The institute is proud to be able to be part of the national response to this pandemic. In these extraordinary times we must all play our part and we are comforted that we can make a contribution in this way.
“To ensure patient confidentiality and public confidence in the process, media and the general public must stay away from testing facilities including the WIT Arena.”
It comes as Ireland adopts the World Health Organisation (WHO) advice of ‘test, test, test’ in an effort to flatten the coronavirus curve.
Thousands of people are now awaiting Covid-19 tests and results with centres being rolled out all over the country.
According to the Health Service Executive (HSE) there are currently over 30 tests centres in the country, with a spread around each region to maximise how many people can be checked.
This number is set to grow in the coming days to 40 plus with exact locations not listed online as not all sites have been confirmed yet.
Aside from the WIT Arena, reports in national media this morning said a test centre has also been set up in the Cherrymount area of Kilcohan.
A HSE spokesperson said they are not commenting on individual test centre locations.