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Volunteers will not be needed to assist in transporting personnel to COVID-19 testing centres.

Such clarification from the Department of Health was outlined by Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling.

Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the Clare Covid-19 Community Support Response Team, Dowling stated, “The Department of Health that at this time, the National Ambulance Service see no role for volunteers in assisting with transport to testing centres. They believe they will be able to cope”. He said that a number of queries had arisen on the topic.

Pat Dowling. Photograph: John Mangan

Meanwhile, James Lafferty Clare Area Treasurer of the Irish Red Cross advised the meeting of a COVID-19 hardship fund that has been set up by Age Action in conjunction with the Red Cross.

Age Action and the Irish Red Cross has raised funds to provide additional assistance to older and vulnerable people around Ireland who are experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic by making once-off grants, up to a maximum of €500, per person/household affected. Older people in need of assistance, family members supporting an older person and carers of older people, social workers and local voluntary organisations or community groups providing direct assistance to individuals within this target group are eligible to apply.

As part of the fund, suitable people can apply for small household maintenance, repairs and safety improvements, food and basic provisions, upgraded or new small appliances, digital technology equipment, contributions towards energy costs, telephone bills, home and personal security costs, plus additional travel costs for essential reasons. Application forms can be obtained by contacting Irish Red Cross at 01 6424600 or Age Action at 01 475 6989

James Lafferty. Photograph: John Mangan

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