A private Covid-19 testing centre in Co. Donegal is responding to an increased demand for a variety of tests as the scope of testing and travel changes in Ireland.
Medical personnel with Medchecks.ie have operated a drive-through testing centre in Letterkenny for the past month.
In that time, demand has spiked for PCR testing and Antigen tests for a variety of needs.
Overall however, staff have noted that Covid-19 continues to be prevalent in the community.
Company founder Dr John Doherty is a Consultant Anaesthetist at Altnagelvin Hospital.
“I’m still very concerned about the high levels of Covid in Donegal. There are concerns over new strains and sadly it is going to be here for some time, despite everybody’s continued good efforts.”
The pop-up MedChecks clinic offers rapid COVID-19 RT-PCR, rapid antigen and rapid antibody testing with results being obtained on the same-day (antigen and antibody tests) or within 24 hours from testing (PCR test).
Meanwhile, private PCR testing at MedChecks is meeting some specific needs:
“The PCR tests are catering for people who are preparing for scheduled surgeries. People might be asked to go to Sligo, Galway or Dublin for a test before their procedures, but they can come to us.”
“PCR tests also help with contact tracing. Additionally they provide ‘fit to fly’ and ‘test to release’ certification in compliance with government requirements.”
Dr Doherty said demand for antigen tests has picked up in three strands – the general population who are concerned that they might have Covid, and international travellers visiting countries such as the Netherlands which have made antigen rapid tests necessary before departure. With recently announced requirements HGV drivers are required to have rapid antigen test prior to departure from the Irish ports to UK and Europe. Medchecks hopes to meet this demand also.
Additionally Medchecks has been responding locally in Donegal to requests for rapid antigen testing in the corporate environment. They have developed a mobile responsive team who visit the workplace to do on-site testing.
In recent weeks, the company has expanded into other border areas in Monaghan and Dundalk.
Dr Doherty stressed that, given the high levels of Covid in Donegal, people should continue to closely follow all government guidance in relation to COVID 19.
“I do feel we at MedChecks have made an impact by helping identify COVID 19 and providing the public immediate decision making to keep themselves, their relatives and the community at large safe during these challenging times.”
“I would like to stress that we at MedChecks work closely with the Public Health reporting systems and contact tracing so understanding of the epidemiology of COVID 19 in Donegal is developed. An important aspect for us is that we are reducing the burden on the public service.”
Medchecks in Letterkenny is open seven days per week. Details on pricing, booking and opening hours are available at www.medchecks.ieTags: