Amid the rapid increase in the number of people suspected of contracting the Covid-19 in South Korea, there has been a breakthrough in the fight against the virus. Local hospitals are drawing attention with their “Drive-thru” testing facilities for diagnosing Covid-19.
In this “Drive-thru” testing, the suspected patient remains in the car, which minimizes their contact with other people. The sample is collected for screening through the car window. Any person with respiratory symptoms is recommended to go back home and remain in isolation until the test results come.
Ki Mo-ran, a professor at the National Cancer Center, said, “This way, if suspected patients can wait for the results at home after sample collection, hospitals do not need to isolate them, and many people do not have to wait in line.” Such testing can prevent suspected patients from spreading the virus, and it will also help in protecting public healthcare personnel.
Till now, with each suspected patient, hospitals used to take more than 30 minutes for sample collection and then disinfecting the examination room. The “Drive-thru” sample collection only takes 10 minutes maximum. And this 10 minutes includes filling of a medical questionnaire, body temperature measurement, and sample collection. All this happens within a short time! So much less than the 30 minutes or more spent in hospitals!
Where can you find these drive-thru clinics in South Korea?
Two cities in South Korea, Sejong City (121 kilometers south from Seoul) and Goyang City in Gyeonggi Province (just northwest of Seoul), have become the first in adopting this innovative method of testing Covid-19 via “drive-thru.”
In Sejong City, the new “drive-thru” test is available in the newly installed screening clinics (container buildings) in Sejong Public Health Center in Jochiwon town and Chungnam National University Hospital, Sejong Clinic. The city officials announced that the “drive-thru” Covid-19 screening would be operational from 1 pm on February 26. People can drive up to the clinic and can get a test for coronavirus without getting out of the car!
An official from Sejong City said, “If you examine one person at a screening clinic, it took more than 30 minutes to take a sample because you had to disinfect the office.”
Goyang City started to operate a “drive-thru” testing facility on Wednesday as well. The facility runs from 10 am to 5 pm on the Jugyo No. 1 Public Parking Lot near the Goyang City Hall. It will remain operational until March 11. City officials have said additional “drive-thru” screening facilities might be added after observing the Covid-19 outbreak developments.
At present, South Korea has the world’s highest diagnosis ability for Covid-19. This is all because of the competent authorities and excellent quarantine strategies. Even though the number of confirmed cases is high, the country is still fighting against the outbreak in the best possible way. With the best experts in the world, a transparent government, and dedicated medical staff, the country is already winning this war against coronavirus.
Current Status of Coronavirus in South Korea
According to the latest data from KCDC, the number of people being checked for the virus and under quarantine has reached to 21,097. To date, the country has tested a total of 56,395 suspected cases, with 35,298 testing negative. South Korea has released 24 fully recovered novel coronavirus patients from hospitals.
On Thursday, KCDC (Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) reported 334 additional cases raising the total number to 1,595. About 46 percent of confirmed cases here are tied to a branch of a religious sect in the southeastern city of Daegu. This figure is the highest reported number of additional cases in the country since January 20. Out of the 334 patients, 307 cases were in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the outbreak.
“Drive-thru” Clinics: Social Media Reactions
And now, UK has also announced a similar drive-thru testing facility!