An assessment centre set up to treat patients with Covid-19 symptoms is still operational despite some online rumours.

The centre in the car park of Russell Howard Park has been operational since April 14, and has already seen more than 1,000 patients with coronavirus symptoms.

But in recent days people have wondered if it was still up and running as the tents where assessments are carried out had been removed.

"Why has Russell Howard park testing facility been removed," one person wrote on social media.

Another replied: "Just about to ask the same question."

But Dr Caroline O’Keeffe, who is one of the partners at CGH Partnership and the lead GP for the assessment centre, who squashed those rumours.

"The Covid Assessment Centre is very much still open and it is running well," she told the Gazette.

"The marquee company, Pole to Pole Marquees, who kindly lent us the tents free of charge for six weeks needed them back again, so they were taken down at the weekend. We would like to pass on our thanks to them for all their support.

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"New tents will be going up in the next few days, as the council have kindly agreed that we can use the Russell Howard car park for a further six weeks for managing patients with Covid symptoms.

"In the meantime, patients will continue to be seen at the Assessment Centre, but for a few days until the new tents are put up, all the patients will be seen inside the St Andrews Centre surgery."

The centre does not operate a walk-in service and anyone feeling unwell should contact their GP practice first.

"Over the last six weeks, we’ve seen over 1,000 patients with symptoms of Covid, and approximately 40 per cent of patients have been seen inside the building and 60 per cent in the drive through, depending on what sort of clinical examination is required," Dr O'Keeffe added.

"Numbers are starting to settle now in line with the national picture, but having the ability to see patients with fever or breathing problems at the Covid Assessment Centre has been hugely valuable for all the Basingstoke practices."