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Staff at the first Victorian GP clinic with drive-through COVID-19 testing getting ‘trashed and thrashed’

The first GP clinic in Victoria to set up a drive-though testing centre for COVID-19 is in danger of closing down.

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, who runs the Altona North clinic, says staff are being “trashed and thrashed” and the clinic is struggling to deal with an influx of people clambering at the doors to get tested.

Others are steering clear, fearing they will contract the virus.

The clinic has been running tests in the carpark.

Testing supplies are dwindling and the former Australian Medical Association boss said staff are getting exhausted.

“Staff are stressed, we’ve had six doctors down because of having to be tested and having to come in again,” Dr Haikerwal said.

“We are seriously thinking do we keep going, do we shut the practice down, what testing we can do, do we stop that as well?”

He said some patients were nervous to come into the clinic for fear of catching the virus.

The clinic is waiting for more stock for testing.

“We are running out of gowns,” he said.

He also took aim at the rollout of teleconferencing services.

“I think we are coming to the point where we will have to look at what they are doing internationally and have a 14 day curfew for everyone to stop the spread of this thing,” he said.

Dr Haikerwal urged people not to panic, and to stay at home if you feel unwell.

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