Coronavirus: First NHS testing centre to go live at SSE Arena

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The first Northern Ireland NHS coronavirus staff testing site will go live this weekend at the SSE Arena car park in Belfast, according to the health minister.

Kits from the Northern Ireland-based diagnostic company Randox will be used for testing.

The SSE Arena normally hosts concerts and ice hockey tournaments.

Robin Swann said the Randox staff testing initiative would be "on the ground" this weekend.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced plans on Thursday for 100,000 tests-a-day to be conducted by the end of April.

Mr Swann confirmed a consortium had been established to scale up diagnostic testing in Northern Ireland.

The consortium includes Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University.

Mr Swann also told a news conference that a separate UK-wide initiative on staff testing has been set up with Randox and Deloitte as key partners.

The Minister said he trusted this would alleviate some of the concern and speculation regarding PPE.

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