The government of Northern Ireland has announced that a network of new Primary Care Covid-19 centres is being rapidly set up to manage the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the community and help free up GP services.
The first COVID-19 centre has been established at Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital. Additional centres are expected to open in the coming days, with at least one in each Trust area.
These COVID-19 centres will not serve as testing facilities but will only cater to patients suspected of having COVID-19 who are very unwell and in need of urgent medical attention. Patients will not be allowed to report directly to these centres without being referred by their GP or Out of Hours provider. Patients with COVID-19 will receive appropriate treatment and assessment at these centres, and onward referral to hospital if the need arises.
Health Minister Robin Swann said: "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."