A GREENOCK Covid-19 test centre site was forced to turn people away due to a shortage in kits as cases rocketed locally.

People looking for a PCR test earlier this week were unable to go to the walk-in clinic at Crawfurdsburn Centre due to capacity problems, the Telegraph can reveal.

Instead the online booking system was sending residents to 20 miles away to Dumbarton, as the UK Government admitted a capacity problem across the west of Scotland.

This comes as the area's infection rate soars to over 500 per 100k people, with over 400 positive tests recorded over the last seven days.

One concerned local from Inverkip said: "I tried to get a Covid test in Greenock but was turned away because they had ran out of tests.

"I was told I could go to Boglestone in Port Glasgow for lateral flow tests, but I have them in the house.

"If you tried to book PCR tests over the phone they were sending you to Glasgow Airport."

The UK Government's health and social care department - who operate the Covid-19 test sites - admitted there had been problems earlier in the week.

They confirmed that they were unable to test some people at Crawfurdsburn who turned up without bookings, citing a 'temporary stock shortage' but said the centre had remained operational.

They also admitted that there were early site closures, with people affected informed by text message.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Everyone in Scotland who requires a PCR test should continue to come forward to book one – either at their nearest test site or via home delivery.

“While a number of Mobile Testing Units have been experiencing high demand, PCR testing has remained available at both regional and local testing sites across Scotland.”

The drive-through site at Parklea in Port Glasgow continues to operate every second day.

People who are asymptomatic are encouraged to get a rapid lateral flow test rather a PCR one.

A spokeswoman added: "It is vital we direct PCR testing to those who need it, so only those with symptoms or who meet the other criteria on www.gov.uk should seek a PCR test."