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India’s 1st COVID-19 Drive-Through testing facility opens in Delhi

Nizam Shaikh
Written by Nizam Shaikh

A report from the National Informatics Centre suggests that there are nearly 4,000 active COVID-19 cases in India resulting in nearly 114 deaths and 325 people cured or discharged. The COVID-19 or novel CoronaVirus has affected more than 13.60 lakh people worldwide and claimed the lives of more than 75,000 people. 

The novel CoronaVirus (nCoV) has proved to be highly contagious and spreads at a notorious rate. As of now, no vaccine has been discovered for the CoronaVirus Disease and social distancing, maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding public places has been the only proven methods to prevent contracting and spread of the virus.

A private testing laboratory called Dr Dang’s Lab (DDL) in Delhi has now set up a drive-through testing facility in Delhi. The person who wishes to get tested will have to go through an online appointment system and only two persons per vehicle are allowed in the drive-through facility. The persons should be seated on the right-hand side of the vehicle and all windows are supposed to be rolled up. 

The technicians present at the drive-through testing facility are suited up in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as plastic suits, face masks, safety glasses and face shields. The technicians then collect samples by the means of the nasopharyngeal swab (from the nose) and oropharyngeal swab (from the mouth). The test is performed by RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) method as per ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) guidelines. No blood testing is required for nCoV tests. The test results can be viewed online at their website available between 24-36 hours of sample collection.

The customers are required to pay the Government mandated fees of INR 4,500 by means of online payment only. Cash is not accepted to avoid the virus spread. Also a Doctor’s prescription and a valid Govt. ID (Aadhaar card/Passport/Driver’s license) is required to book an appointment for the Drive-Through testing. The facility is open only to private four-wheelers and does not allow two-wheelers, three-wheelers and taxis at the testing centre.

South Korea which has over 10,000 total cases with 192 deaths and nearly 6,700 people recovered from COVID-19 has performed over 4.61 lakh test and is the pioneer of the drive-through nCoV testing facility. The innovative technology may have been inspired by popular fast-food restaurants but it sure is working as there is less interaction and the chances of getting infected at a hospital’s waiting room are reduced. 

Dr Dang’s Lab has set this drive-through facility in the Punjabi Bagh area of the Nation’s capital and is the first of its kind in the country.