SINN Féin Health spokesperson Councillor Sandra Duffy has appealed for the public health agency to place a mobile COVID-19 testing scheme in Derry following fears over clusters and to help deal with people showing signs in outlying areas.
Figures released by the Department of Health on Saturday revealed in the last seven days, 295 people in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area tested positive for Coronavirus – the highest council area in the North of Ireland.
In the last 24 hours, 66 people tested positive within the council’s boundary.
That puts the council’s total to date at 700 – an average of 100 case per days this past week.
Said Councillor Duffy: “Over the past couple of weeks I have been dealing with a number of issues around constituents being able to access COVID testing.
“Some have been asked to go as far away as Coleraine, which may be ok if you have a car or that you are fit enough to travel or can afford public transport.
“Many people, particularly older members of the community, find it a daunting task trying to use the internet to book a test or request a home testing kit.
“I am calling on the Public Health Agency to request that they immediately locate a mobile testing unit in Derry City that can travel around districts where there has been identified clusters or where people would find it difficult to even get into the city centre.
“As COVID19 continues to spread within our community, it is unacceptable that those needing a test have to do a 70-mile round trip for testing.
“If we are to ensure an effective test, trace and isolate system to maximise the safety of the public then we must ensure that testing is easily accessible to all.
“Sinn Féin will continue to do all that we can to ensure that all possible measures are implemented to protect the health and wellbeing of the community in Derry and to minimise the spread of COVID-19.”