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Seoul district preps for winter with new COVID-19 testing clinic

Seocho district’s new COVID-19 testing clinic. (Seocho Office)
Seocho district’s new COVID-19 testing clinic. (Seocho Office)

A Seoul district is operating an indoor, high-tech COVID-19 testing clinic that is designed to eliminate contact between medical staff and people who are getting tested for the virus.

Seocho, in southern Seoul, on Monday opened the clinic in anticipation of approaching winter season to allow people to get tested without having to stay outside in the cold. Previously, the test takers had to wait outdoors to reduce transmission risk regardless of weather conditions.

After each person leaves, the chambers -- which are air pressure-controlled -- are automatically sprayed with disinfectants, ventilated and then sanitized with UV lights for 10 minutes. In the nasal swab section, the medical workers and visitors are separated by a transparent wall with gloves attached for taking samples.

The 151 square meter facility is also equipped with X-ray machines and other devices typically used in COVID-19 examinations. All visitors must go through contact tracing surveys before they can get tested. Those considered at risk of severe illness such as the elderly and pregnant women are treated at a separate space.

The clinic is expected to run about 500 tests a day.

Cho Eun-hee, the head of the district’s office, said the new clinic was “intended to make testing experience more convenient and safer for Seocho residents.”

“Our innovations will prove useful in coping with future crises of emerging diseases,” she said.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)

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