There was a gentle stream of individuals passing by means of the “pop-up” walk-in Covid-19 testing centre at Irishtown Stadium in Dublin on Thursday, availing of free checks with out an appointment.
The handful that spoke to The Irish Occasions afterwards all declared themselves symptom-free. Most had been curious to be examined, having by no means been swabbed earlier than.
All needed reassurance that they didn’t have the illness, and had been pleased to take part within the HSE’s efforts to establish asymptomatic instances in an effort to get forward of the virus.
“Just out of curiosity,” mentioned Mick, an area man in his 40s, when requested why he acquired examined. “I live down the road so it seemed like a good thing to do. They say that one in five cases are asymptomatic.”
The Irishtown walk-in centre was one among 5 to open on Thursday in a brand new initiative geared toward making an attempt to trace down the virus in the neighborhood by focusing on areas with excessive incidence charges of Covid-19. There are three different centres in Dublin and one in Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Niamh O’Beirne, the HSE’s nationwide lead for testing and tracing, mentioned that as of 6pm on Thursday – one hour earlier than they closed for the day – the 5 check centres had swabbed 1,556 folks, with the Nationwide Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown, west Dublin, swabbing essentially the most at 370.
Ms O’Beirne mentioned there have been numerous folks aged between 20 and 40 – “a good target group”–together with college students and younger flatmates.
Every centre, in operation for every week, can perform between 300 and 500 checks day-after-day in the course of the 11am to 7pm opening hours.
Further administrative employees had been assigned to the Grangegorman centre within the north inside metropolis in Dublin to scale back ready instances on Thursday morning from 40 minutes to twenty minutes.
The Irishtown centre had swabbed the bottom at 6pm, with 224 folks swabbed.
Two of these had been college students, Fergal and Shane, each 21, who reside across the nook.
“I would like to know if I have it. I have been in contact with people through work,” mentioned Shane.
Fergal described the method as “nice, easy, quick – in and out in two minutes”.
A secondary college instructor, who didn’t need to be named, mentioned: “I just wanted to get it done, to be a bit happier about not having it. I am a teacher so I don’t want to expose others.”
Des O’Halloran (69), a retired public servant, additionally acquired examined for “peace of mind” as a result of he, like everybody else, has “a fear of picking up this damn thing, so why not?”
“It is absolutely important that we identify those who could be spreaders so people can be protected and information is available out there,” he mentioned.
“If I get the all-clear I will be reassured. I would be worried I would be asymptomatic because I live in an apartment block, sharing the lift and front door passageway.”
He acknowledged that the walk-in centres might have been arrange earlier. “We all wish it was done a year but I understand we have been learning as we go.”