Covid-19 centre opens at Altnagelvin Hospital

The first in a network of new Primary Care Covid-19 centres has been opened at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

Visiting the centre this afternoon, Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann said the network is being rapidly established to manage the growth of Coronavirus cases in the community.

At the Altnagelvin facility, Minister Swann said more centres will open in the coming days, with at least one Covid-19 centre in each Trust area.

He said Primary Care Covid-19 Centres are an essential part of the fight against this virus, and to ensure vital GP services can be maintained throughout the coming weeks and months, it is absolutely critical that those who show symptoms are separated from the patients with non Covid-19 related conditions.

Mr Swann stressed that the new centres are not testing facilities, and are only for patients who are very unwell, are suspected of having Covid-19, and require medical attention.

The minister stressed patients will not be able to report directly to these centres without being referred by their GP or Out of Hours provider.