Switzerland opens first drive-through coronavirus testing centre

Switzerland opens first drive-through coronavirus testing centre
A drive-through testing centre in the United States. Photo: DREW ANGERER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
The central Swiss canton of Lucerne will open the first drive-through testing centre for coronavirus in the country.

The drive-through screening facility will open in Lucerne on Wednesday at the Alpenquai cantonal school. 

Those concerned will not simply be able to drive up and ask for a test however as a prior referral from a doctor will be necessary. 

EXPLAINED: Why does Switzerland have the second-highest rate of confirmed coronavirus cases per capita?

Drivers receive a mouth swab from an employee of the testing facility through an open window of the car. The tested person will not need to leave the vehicle. 

The drive-through facility lets ten tests be taken per hour, rather than just one as is the case in existing hospital facilities. Results are set to be available in a day. 

The risk for medical professionals is also lower with drive-through testing. 

The State Chancellery has lauded the new regime, saying it is the “first major inpatient test option outside of hospitals”. 

While drive-through testing has been put in place elsewhere such as in South Korea and the United States, the Lucerne drive-through centre is the first of its kind in Switzerland. 

Although the canton of Bern indicated on March 16th that it also be opening a drive through testing facility from March 23rd, Swiss daily 20 Minutes reports that this centre has been delayed. 



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