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A health care worker instructs people arriving in their cars to be tested for COVID-19 in California. (AFP)
A health care worker instructs people arriving in their cars to be tested for COVID-19 in California. (AFP)

All you need to know about India's first drive-through Covid-19 testing facility

  • The Covid-19 testing facility has been opened in Delhi's Punjabi Bagh area.
  • The test costs 4,500 and the results are available within 36 hours.
  • Drive-through testing facilities reduce the risk of exposure to others while also reducing pressure on existing healthcare establishments.

India recently joined a number of countries to offer drive-through testing facilities for coronavirus detection. Coronavirus, officially referred to as Covid-19, has meant social distancing is being advised as one of the key ways to battle the disease and drive-through testing can help in maintaining this while ensuring detection in a timely manner.

With the country in lockdown till April 14, people are at homes and have very limited chances of exposure to coronavirus. Vehicles too are firmly parked but for those in need of medical attention, the rules are relaxed.

The country's first drive-through coronavirus testing facility was opened on Monday in Delhi's Punjabi Bagh area. Established by Dr Dang Lab, the facility can conduct up to 40 tests each day.

(Also read: Pakistan opens its first drive-through Covid-19 test facility in Karachi)

The process for the test is simple with people advised to first fill an online form on the website of the testing center, make payment through digital platforms and book a slot. Close to their allotted time, people can just drive to the facility, provide the healthcare professionals with the required samples and drive away. "This Centre ensures maximum safety and minimum exposure to both the patients and the sample collectors," Dr Arjun Dang, CEO, Dr Dang Labs, was quoted as saying by news agency IANS. "More than volumes, we are looking at value i.e. in terms of patient safety but if the requirement comes in we will extend our work hours and make arrangements accordingly."

Dr Dang says that the entire process takes less than 30 minutes and that the reports are subsequently made available online within 36 hours. The price of the test is 4,500.

Drive-through testing facilities are increasingly established in countries all over the world and offer numerous convenience and safety benefits. They reduce the strain on existing health facilities while limiting exposure to other people because the person getting himself or herself tested always remains inside the vehicle. It is also a quick process because the time slot is already allotted at the time of booking.

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