Outdoor COVID-19 testing booths at Incheon Int'l Airport screening arrivals from Europe
Updated: 2020-03-27 10:06:29 KST
The South Korean government on Thursday has set up walk-thru testing booths at Incheon International Airport, to quickly detect infections coming from abroad and to save time by testing people more rapidly.
"We are installing open walk-thru testing stations at five different spots within Incheon International Airport…to speed up testing during the entry screening procedure.
"The walk-thru booths are located outdoors, because the strong winds lower the risk of contamination or infection in the process of collecting samples."
The open space also lowers the risk of contamination,… making the process safer.
Speed is another factor. People who have been tested complimented the speed and efficiency of the system.
"It was really efficient. I mean, it was just two minutes maybe, just getting something swabbed in my throat and putting something in my nose. So it was done really quickly and efficiently."
Health officials say each booth can test more than a dozen people an hour.
That's more than six times faster than ordinary clinics, which can only test 2 or 3 people an hour.
It's even more efficient than the drive-thru centers, which can test 6 to 8 people in that time.
A total of 16 walk-thru booths have been set up at the airport as of Thursday, in both Terminals 1 and 2.
But the walk-thru tests are not for people with a cough, fever or other signs of the virus.
Only foreigners coming in from Europe, and only those without symptoms, are currently being tested here. Any Korean nationals arriving from Europe are not required to be tested, instead they will self-quarantine at home.
"Those who are found to have no symptoms are guided to the booths. The sampling begins after they fill out a simple form. The whole process only takes around five minutes."
Authorities say starting Friday, the walk-thru booths will be expanded to include arrivals from the U.S. as well.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.