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Coronavirus Kent: Estuary View Medical Centre drive-thru centre in Whitstable targeted by vandals

A large drive-thru hot site has been targeted by "mindless vandals" after they cut through a power cable.

The facility at Estuary View Medical Centre in Whitstable opened last month for assessing potential coronavirus patients.

A power cable was cut by vandals at the Estuary View hot-site. Picture: Dr John Ribchester
A power cable was cut by vandals at the Estuary View hot-site. Picture: Dr John Ribchester

But the shocking incident, which happened overnight, has affected the poorly and vulnerable patients who came through this morning.

Dr John Ribchester, senior and executive partner at Whitstable Medical Practice, told KentOnline he - along with staff and volunteers - is "seething".

"Some mindless vandal has cut through a power cable at our hot site," he said.

"We have had a lot of activity this morning from the good people we are working with to repair it.

"But honestly it strikes me that a crisis brings out the very best and the very worst behaviour.

The facilities were opened last month to assess and treat people with symptoms referred after calls to 111 or their local medical centre, keeping them away from normal GP surgeries. Picture: Dr John Ribchester
The facilities were opened last month to assess and treat people with symptoms referred after calls to 111 or their local medical centre, keeping them away from normal GP surgeries. Picture: Dr John Ribchester

"We would really like to know who was stupid enough to do it."

The facilities were opened last month to assess and treat people with symptoms referred after calls to 111 or their local medical centre, keeping them away from normal GP surgeries.

Volunteers do the traffic marshalling and there are receptionists in check-in booths.

Dr Ribchester added: "This is something which was designed to help protect the public against the spread of infection and some idiot decides to cut through the power cable.

"They have repaired it this morning which is brilliant.

Dr John Ribchester says he along with staff and volunteers are "seething". Picture: Chris Davey
Dr John Ribchester says he along with staff and volunteers are "seething". Picture: Chris Davey

"Here we have volunteers sitting in not very nice weather, directing people and doing it completely for free - and you get some idiot who decides to do this.

"We are horrified there are people in society who would do this sort of thing - especially to a medical facility."

He also said police have agreed to make more patrols in the area and no further damage was caused.

Police were contacted today after a power cable near Boorman Way, Whitstable, was reported to have been damaged.

A spokesperson said: "The damage is believed to have taken place between 6pm on Tuesday and 9am on Wednesday."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/80929/20.

You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or complete the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Read more: All the latest news from Whitstable

Read more: All the latest coronavirus news


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