Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Is Now a Thing
5 March 2020 - autoevolution
At the time of this writing, there are over 90,000 people infected with the new coronavirus, and over 3,000 deaths.
And given the fact the scourge has spread on all continents and to dozens of countries, things will probably get worse before getting better.
The numbers above pertain, of course, only to the known infections. There are probably many more people sick with this, either asymptomatic or with weak symptoms, that have been left out of the official statistics because they haven't been tested in any way.
Countries across the world are now racing to track the movement of the virus, and in an effort to do so, some have embarked on gargantuan testing programs. The U.S., for instance, a country that just reported its sixth death related to the coronavirus, plans to have up to 1 million people tested by the end of the week. And that will certainly uncover more cases, which in turn would cause a spike in the number of reported infections.
In South Korea, where authorities have been battling the virus for weeks, testing has gone to a whole new level. In a move that is unprecedented and, for now, not to be found anywhere else, the country has opened a drive-through lab of sorts, where people could be tested without having to get out of their cars.
According to CNN, this idea was first implemented in the city of Goyang. There, a parking lot was fitted with several stations where those in need to have their fears put to rest can drive up to hazmat-suited health workers, have their temperature checked, and some samples collected.
This idea came to be because in the case of an epidemic hospitals are the worst places to be.
"If you operate a testing site indoors, there is concern that suspected patients can infect each other in the waiting room," said according to CNN the city's Mayor, Lee Jae-joon.
The entire process, tested even by the network's international correspondent Ivan Watson, takes just a few minutes. Then a couple of days of agonizing thoughts follow, as those tested have to wait for their results.