Dublin firefighters can now avail of a Covid-19 testing facility in the Rotunda Hospital which provides same day results.

The drive-through facility is currently being used for patients and staff at the maternity hospital but members of Dublin Fire Brigade will now have access as they operate as paramedics. 

Assistant chief fire officer Greg O'Dwyer said the fire brigade is "delighted" to be given the facility as up to 100 members can be off duty at any one time waiting on the results of tests.

Since the lockdown most of the fire brigade's work is taken up with ambulance duty and if one member displays symptoms up to 12 close contacts have to stay off work until the test proves negative.

"These are all fire fighter paramedics on the frontline so they need to get back to work as soon as possible" said Mr O'Dwyer.

Master of the Rotunda, Professor Fergal Malone said the hospital has its own laboratory for testing but is working close to its capacity by carrying out around 40 tests a day.

He said as well as testing staff and women coming to the hospital for deliveries or ante natal appointments, it also carries out testing for the National Maternity, Temple St, Cavan and Connolly hospitals as well as local GPs and nursing homes.

Professor Malone said the hospital would not be in a position to offer tests for members of the general public.