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India is currently observing a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the businesses across sectors have either shut or slowed down. A few days back, Delhi got India's first drive-through laboratory in West Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi, to collect the COVID-19 samples for testing.
According to a recent report by The Hindu, Mumbai now gets three new drive-thru testing centers to collect the COVID-19 samples for testing. The testing facility will be managed by SRL Diagnostics, moreover, these drive-through testing labs are located at Indiabulls Finance Centre in Lower Parel, Celestia Spaces in Sewri and Lodha Supremus in Kanjurmarg.
Ravi Aggarwal, regional COO, SRL Diagnostics stated, "The idea behind drive-through testing is simple: keeping potentially sick patients in their cars and allowing plenty of ventilation throughout the testing facility. Sites like these are needed greatly as active cases in Mumbai are increasing exponentially and the drive-through concept works as a great tool to fast-track sample collection. Not only is the method faster, but it also limits human interaction with potentially infected people, preventing the spread of the virus" he added.
So how exactly does this drive-thru facility operate? Patients remain in the car and after that when he/she reaches the counter a nasal or throat swab sample is taken through the car window, and the entire process takes close to 10 minutes. SRL Diagnostics has set up a toll-free number (1800-222-000) for making the drive-through test appointment. To be eligible for this facility, customers will have to provide a government ID, a doctor's prescription advising COVID-19 testing and a patient proforma. The drive-thru testing facility is available from 9 am to 6 pm on all days.
Prabal Deb, director, lab operations and chief histopathologist, Mumbai, SRL Diagnostics, said, "there was a huge shortage of personal protective equipment like masks, gloves, hazmat suits and so on, and thus the need to find innovative ways to conduct tests efficiently. By collecting samples through these drive-throughs, we are not compromising on the testing protocols and simultaneously doing everything we can to protect the well-being of our brave and selfless frontline soldiers by minimising human-to-human interaction".
Thoughts On The Drive-Through Testing Facility
Since the lockdown it is very risky to go out anywhere, even hospitals as there the risks are higher. With the help of this drive-through facility, the risk factor will minimum. Also, the drive-thru method originated in South Korea and now has become popular all over the world.