COVID TESTS: 2nd centre opens at Mile End pavilion after 1st unit at Shadwell’s Watney Market
PUBLISHED: 15:20 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:39 09 October 2020
A second Covid-19 test centre opened in the East End today (October 9) run by the government to help increase capacity within walking distance of where people live.
It has been set up at the Mile End pavilion in Grove Road with testing offered by appointment, following a rise in new Tower Hamlets cases.
The first centre was set up last month at the Watney Market idea store in Commercial Road after pressure by Tower Hamlets Council on Downing Street to provide test facilities for those who can’t travel during the lockdown.
“Infections are increasing,” mayor John Biggs warned. “Testing and identifying cases is vital.
“We are committed to making sure people know when they need a test, despite recent problems with the national testing programme experiencing capacity issues.”
He lobbied the Secretary of State last month to make sure there were enough tests “as we are a far cry from the government’s pledge for a ‘world-beating’ testing system”.
The authorities advise people to avoid visiting other households unless absolutely necessary.
Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 such as high temperature, new or continuous cough or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste is being urged to make an appointment by calling 119 or going online.
Deputy mayor Rachel Blake, cabinet member for public health, said: “This new testing centre at Mile End pavilion makes it much easier to get tested close to home. Testing helps keep schools and front-line public services open, with the backdrop of rising cases.”
The two centres at Mile End and Shadwell follow a campaign by the council to improve testing, first revealed in the East London Advertiser last month after a second spike of new Covid cases. A four-fold increase in Coronavirus cases in August was recorded, with 131 notified by Tower Hamlets NHS compared to just 37 in June.
Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms such as high temperature, new or continuous cough or a loss or change to their normal sense of smell or taste is being advised to make an appointment online or phone 119.
Public advice is to wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap or use hand sanitiser, wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other enclosed areas, keep a safe distance from others outside your home and stick to the government rule of six people maximum in any social gathering with other households indoors or outdoors, including private homes.
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