(Photo Credit: The Straits Times)
Singapore launches its first drive-through testing facility at One Farrer Hotel in efforts to ramp up COVID-19 testing capacity.
As Singapore enters its first phase of normalcy, efforts towards coronavirus testing have been ramped up. One Farrer Hotel, now temporarily repurposed as a hospital facility, is the first location operationalising as a drive-through testing facility.
Passengers will be tested in their cars after entering the parking lot by testing assistants, dressed in full personal protective (PPE) gear. Once the samples are collected, the cars are allowed to drive off.
The samples are then sent to Pathology Asia Holdings and ParkWay Health Laboratory for diagnosis. To support these testing efforts, many swabbers and swabbing assistants have been hired on short-term contracts.
However, the criteria for selecting passengers to test has not been confirmed.
General Manager of One Farrer Hotel, Gilbert Madhavan told Channel News Asia (CNA) that “relevant authorities determine who are selected for testing based on public health priorities”.
The One Farrer Hotel has been repurposed since mid April because of the hotel’s size, isolated drive through area, and its proximity to Farrer Park Hospital.
Additionally, Temasek Foundation will also be working with its partners - Parkway Pantai, OneCare Medical, and Farrer Park Company - to increase Singapore’s swab testing capacity.
So far Mount Elizabeth, Parkway East Hospitals and Gleneagles have been trialled for drive-through testing facilities and are ready to operationalise.
Dr Peng Chung Mien, Chief Executive Officer of Farrer Park Company, also remarked that the company hosts and operates, on behalf of Temasek Foundation, the drive-through and a separate “ultra safe” booth testing facility for “prioritised populations”.
“This ensures that our society can emerge more safely when circuit breaker restrictions are lifted,” he explained.
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