COVID-19 drive-through near Siri Fort Auditorium in Delhi. Photo/ANI
COVID-19 drive-through near Siri Fort Auditorium in Delhi. Photo/ANI

20 minute drive-through COVID testing facilities increased in Delhi, private labs scale-up testing

ANI | Updated: Jun 26, 2020 10:55 IST

By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India], June 26 (ANI): With a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases seen in Delhi and the introduction of new protocols by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the Arvind Kejriwal-led government to aggressively increase COVID testing in the nation's capital, private labs too have scaled up their operations to aid in this fight against the Coronavirus. One such private lab in Delhi has increased its testing facilities by establishing additional drive-through sample collection centres for COVID-19 testing.
After collecting nearly 3,000 samples with the help of its facilities in Punjabi Bagh and Saket, Dr Dangs Lab has opened another centre near Siri Fort Auditorium in the national capital, in a bid to augment the fight against COVID-19.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Arjun Dang, CEO of Dr Dangs Lab, said: "Due to COVID-19 cases surging in Delhi-NCR, we started this novel initiative of drive-through testing and we've now established our third facility. Till date, we have done close to 3,000 RT-PCR tests, samples for which have been collected at these centres. This initiative was planned keeping in mind the increasing number of cases and also increase in demand for testing. Anyone with mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19 can get their test done at this drive-through facility."
This idea of drive-through collections was first seen in countries initially hit by the virus, like South Korea and now are being seen in action in India as well. "We got an overwhelming response from patients, not only about the bookings but also regarding the ease of testing and the safety measures that are in place currently in our facilities since the samples are collected with the patients seated inside their car," added Dang.
With regards to infection control measures at the centre, Dang reiterated that their facilities conform to all ICMR guidelines and the entire process entails minimum interaction between medical staff and patients. Also, patients are not required to spend much time to get tested at the facility.
"A 20-minute time slot is allocated to each vehicle, but the entire sample collection process lasts for not more than 6-7 minutes. We have kept a buffer period to avoid overcrowding and overlapping. Also, we will have sufficient time to sanitise the place to maintain the highest levels of safety and hygiene for everyone using the facility," he said.
Dang thanked the local authorities, Delhi government and residents for the success of this novel initiative. "I am immensely grateful to the local authorities, Delhi government and the Centre. Most importantly, I am thankful to our community and residents, who have been highly cooperative and helpful in this initiative. Without their cooperation, this would not have been successful," added Dang.
Those who wish to get tested can register at a day prior between 11 am-1 pm where they need to submit the required documents and the reports are emailed to them within 24-36 hours after sample collection. The test is being offered at the government-mandated rate of Rs 2400. (ANI)