Drive-Thru Covid-19 Rapid Tests, and Peak Spread to Occur in May-June

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Drive-Thru Covid-19 Rapid Tests, and Peak Spread to Occur in May-June

The rapid tests with drive-through facility have been opened by Siloam Hospitals Group and Lippo Malls Indonesia. The drive-through testing sites are open for those who develop coronavirus-like symptoms but don’t want to go to hospital too soon.

“The drive-through allows a faster and safer Covid-19 screening because it minimizes physical contact between the lab technicians and the test taker. There is no need to step out of your vehicle to get tested,” Siloam Hospitals deputy president director Caroline Riady said in Jakarta on Friday, April 17.

Siloam Hospitals Group and Lippo Malls Indonesia are offering the drive-through testing sites at three locations, namely Gate 9 next to Lippo Mall Puri in West Jakarta, Kemang Village’s entrance at Jalan Pangeran Antasari, South Jakarta and Meikarta Convention Center (Maxx Boxx Orange County) in Bekasi.

The drive-thru COVID-19 rapid tests are scheduled to be held from April 17-30, 2020. Medical workers will start carrying out tests as early as 8 a.m to 10 a.m.

People can apply for testing by contacting the WhatsApp number available at the registration booth and will cost up to Rp485,000 ($31.59) for a single service.

For the payment, they can pay for their registration using digital payment paltforms such as OVO or QRIS before having their blood sample taken from their cars.

They will receive the results that will be notified through WhatsApp on the same day. Those who test positive for a virus attack will be requested to undergo a swab test, which will examine more accurately if the infection is caused by the novel coronavirus. If the result comes back negative, they will have to retake the test in 7-10 days.

Once the results are delivered, online medical consultations with a Siloam Hospitals general practitioner are available free of charge.

Meanwhile, the peak spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is predicted will take place between early May up to the end of June this year. This was said by a senior researcher at the  Eijkman Institute Biomolecular Institution (LBM), Herawati Sudoyo on Friday, April 17.

LBM has the latest study that saying positive coronavirus cases in Indonesia could reach a total of 11,000-71,000 by the end of this month. However, the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) across multiple regions that imposed recently are hoped to be able to suppress that number significantly.

“Learning from other countries, the lesser the physical contacts, the smaller the chance for transmissions,” said Herawati as quoted by Tempo on Friday.

She said, two other programs that can further decrease the number of positive case are mass-COVID-19 PCR tests and rigorous contact tracing.

Currently, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has exceeded 5,000. This number is believed to reflect the figure of transmission one to three weeks ahead.

On the other hand, Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU) researcher Iqbal Elyazar said that this predictive number of cases was highly-affected by the mobility of people nationwide due to the lack of official government ban on the public’s mobility. PSBB, he said, could theoretically suppress the number of cases but what remained unknown was how the social distancing protocol could curb the mobility of public transport users.

The enormous prediction of positive cases is closely linked to the ability of laboratories in checking samples with the average COVID-19 test labs able to test 1,000-2,000 samples daily.

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