Posted: Wed 8th Apr 2020

Coronavirus testing centre to be set up in North Wales to provide faster results

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 8th, 2020

A Public Health Wales testing centre for potential Covid-19 sufferers will be set up in North Wales in the next seven to 10 days according to Welsh Government.

Health minister Vaughan Gething revealed the plan during a press conference in Cardiff this afternoon to discuss plans to deal with what Welsh Government officials are calling a “one in 100 year event”.

The location of the North Wales centre was not revealed but he told journalists testing would be available “at a number of sites around the country” in the coming weeks.

Mr Gething said point of care testing – where results are given within a matter of minutes of the test being taken, were being set up.

One will be set up at Rodney Parade, Newport, followed by another in south-west Wales, before the further site in North Wales.

He said: “Most of these sites will be able to test around 200 people per day.”

He added: “This will transform how we care for patients as they present to the NHS.”

Mr Gething said the Government was building an increase in capacity for processing tests, which had to go “hand in hand” with more of them being available.

Testing is also starting at Cardiff City Stadium this week.

Mr Gething revealed 1,100 tests a day were currently being processed with a 5,000 increase expected over the next two to three weeks.

Priority had been given to front line medical staff and those with serious symptoms needing hospitalisation but tests will be rolled out increasingly to social care workers and police officers over the coming weeks.

He revealed there were 438,000 people defined as key workers in Wales.

So far more than 15,000 tests have been conducted nationwide with “three-quarters of them negative” he said.

He added a suitable antibody test was not available and health experts continued “looking for a reliable test”.

The problem is believed to be the similarity between various coronavirus strains.

Mr Gething said there had been a “small number” of health and social care staff who were in hospitals in Wales with the virus.

He added he didn’t want give out the small number that had died due to the risk of identifying them.

By Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter

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