Army testing unit comes to town

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland carried out testing at Campbeltown Hospital.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland carried out testing at Campbeltown Hospital.

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An army unit carrying out COVID-19 testing set up its mobile, drive-through screening centre at Campbeltown Hospital last Thursday.

Used to training for battle grounds in the Middle East, soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland have instead been tasked to tour Scotland’s west coast, arriving in Campbeltown last week having previously visited Dunoon and Oban.

The unit, which then travelled to Lochgilphead and Bute, is carrying out tests for the virus which were, at the time, available by appointment only for symptomatic key workers, workers showing symptoms who could not work from home, and anyone over 65 with symptoms, as well as household members from all those groups with possible coronavirus.

The mobile testing units, initially set up to run five days in each place but constantly under review, are only to complement NHS health boards’ own testing to meet people’s needs, including island communities, said a Scottish Government spokesperson.

As of this week, the UK Government testing programme is now open to everybody over the age of five who shows signs of coronavirus. Key workers, and anyone in their household with symptoms, can access testing through their employer in the first instance and will be given priority.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said the change is expected to have no effect on the operations of the unit which will continue to visit the areas to which it has been tasked, and that people who are eligible for testing should still go online to book an appointment.

For more information on testing, visit https://www.nhsinform.scot

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Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland carried out testing at Campbeltown Hospital. NO_c21armytesting01

Soldiers wearing protective gear held up signs with instructions for those attending the drive through testing centre. NO_c21armytesting02