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Tags Current Affairs

Drive-through Covid-19 tests

Date: 10 August 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


 Several private labs identified by the ICMR have started drive-through centres for sampling, a method pioneered by South Korea for which it has received praise.



When Covid-19 was yet to be declared a pandemic, South Korea set up drive-through test stations as it focused on rapid and widespread testing to successfully blunt spread of the disease. 



  • At the drive-through centres, passengers and drivers go through the entire Covid-19 testing process in a matter of minutes without ever having to get out of their vehicles.

  • Besides limiting the exposure of frontline workers to the virus, the process also prevents asymptomatic patients from contaminating a public health facility.

  • The test, which includes registration, symptom check, swab sampling, and car disinfection, lasts 10?minutes on average for each person, whereas previous testing procedures took about 30?minutes.

  • Following South Korea, such centres have sprung up in the US, the UK, France, Israel, South Africa, Ireland and Spain.

  • The tests are conducted at the parking lot of the Covid-19 centre or lab, where a 30-40 metre-long stretch is turned into drive-through premises. The sample is collected with the patient sitting in his car itself. However, no two-wheelers or taxis are allowed.

  • To get tested, a potential patient needs three things. First is a government ID such as Aadhaar card, passport etc, the second is a doctor’s prescription advising a Covid-19 test while the third is a patient proforma form.

  • Drive-through tests are more time saving than walk-in tests and ensure minimum exposure to both the patients and the sample collectors.

  • Moreover, since the person doesn’t have to leave the vehicle, it reduces the risk of spreading the infection in a testing centre or lab.

  • It also is a safer option than home collections since people have apprehensions that the person coming to test must have gone to several houses to collect those samples.

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