New Brent centres provide Covid testing for all residents
- Credit: Central Mosque of Brent
Seven new coronavirus testing centres will open across Brent on Monday (December 21) to provide free ‘lateral flow’ tests, which give results within 40 minutes.
Anyone aged 12 and over who lives, works or studies in the borough can now get tested at one of the centres if they do not have symptoms.
Testing facilities at Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre, Central Mosque of Brent, Ealing Road Library, Father O’Callaghan Centre, Harlesden Library, Kingsbury Library and The Granville join those already open at Brent Civic Centre and Willesden Green Library.
People who do have symptoms, like a high temperature, cough or loss of smell and taste, should book a regular PCR test instead.
Dr Melanie Smith, director of public health at Brent Council, said: "It’s crucial that everyone gets tested regularly, so they can know if they have the virus and this will help to keep their friends and families safe.
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"Testing is free, quick and easy and could save lives, so I want to encourage everyone to book a test today."
One of the new testing centres is at the Central Mosque of Brent in Willesden Green.
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Dr Amjid Riaz, mosque treasurer and NHS consultant, told the Times he hopes people will feel more comfortable getting tested there than at a GP or hospital.
The local area is “full of high-risk individuals from the BAME and wider communities”, so the mosque leaders wanted to find a way to help “not only the worshippers in the mosque, but the community as a whole”, he said.
The testing centre is separate from the prayer areas and includes private booths for women.
Amjid said he wanted to combat misinformation around Covid and urged everyone to get tested, even if they feel well: “Just testing when you have symptoms is probably too late...We really want every single slot to be taken.”
He added: “A lot of our local worshippers were affected with Covid and we've been over-represented in the number of deaths.
“All religions promote that you have to look after your health, and your health is very important. But what's even more important is the health of everybody around you.”
The rapid testing program will be available for six weeks until January, when the council will review whether to continue it.
To book a test, visit https://www.brent.gov.uk/covidtesting or call 020 8937 4440. You can also walk in without booking an appointment, but this will be subject to availability on the day.
From Monday, rapid testing will be available at the following sites every day of the week from 9am-6pm, except bank holidays:
Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FJ (already open)
Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre, Brentfield, Harrow Road, London, NW10 0RG
Central Mosque of Brent, Station Parade, Marley Walk, London, NW2 4PU
Ealing Road Library, Coronet Parade, Ealing Road, Wembley, HA0 4BA
Father O’Callaghan Centre, 22 Hay Lane, London, NW9 0NG
Harlesden Library, Craven Park Road, Harlesden, NW10 8SE
Kingsbury Library, 522-524 Kingsbury Road, Kingsbury, NW9 9HE
The Granville, 140 Carlton Vale, London, NW6 5HE
The Library at Willesden Green, 95 High Road, Willesden, London, NW10 2SF (already open)