Malaysia continues to operate under the Movement Control Order that has recently been extended to the 14th of April in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Those who suspect infection can get tested at one of the designated hospitals across the country, while there are also home testing kits available. Meanwhile, KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital is also offering a “drive-thru” style testing process for the coronavirus, which has a reported testing time of just eight minutes, according to FMT—the test is available for RM600.
As walk-in tests can take up to 20 minutes, Dr Nur Abdul Karim explained that the idea behind the drive-thru is to reduce contact with others, while offering a convenient (and faster) way to get tested for COVID-19. Normal tests in the hospital reportedly take up to 20 minutes—the drive-thru test takes 8 minutes, with results available after 24 hours.
The drive-thru began operation on the 26th of March, with 60 people already taking the COVID-19 test on the first day. KPJ says that the number of walk-in patients who have been tested amounts up to 1,200, since the 2nd of March, which evidences the heavy load that healthcare providers have been handling for COVID-19 tests.
Endorsed by the Health Ministry
Dr Nur also explains that the test used for the drive-thru is considered to be the “gold standard” by the Health Ministry of Malaysia, while medical personnel are implementing a South Korean model for testing: “test, test, test—and then test again.”
The process is made up of 2 different stations. One for registration, payment, and initial readings, and another for the actual COVID-19 test. This will involve swabs from patients’ nose and throat, along with a consultation with a medical professional.
If you want to get tested at the drive-thru, you can do so at the KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital from 8.30am–12.30pm from Mondays until Saturdays. KPJ also says that no appointment is required, which isn’t the case for other drive-thru COVID-19 tests.
Drive-thru COVID-19 tests could be another way for health authorities to reduce the strain on healthcare centres such as hospitals. At the time of writing, there have been 2,470 confirmed cases in Malaysia, with 37,674 completed COVID-19 tests. 35 deaths have been reported by the MOH, while 388 patients have made full recoveries.
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Editor’s note: This article has been amended to include pricing details.