New testing centre opens in capital

New testing centre opens in capital

People are required to show their antigen test results before entering the government complex in Laksi district of Bangkok on Jan 4. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
People are required to show their antigen test results before entering the government complex in Laksi district of Bangkok on Jan 4. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

A new Covid-19 testing centre with the capacity to conduct up to 1,000 tests per day will begin operating on Tuesday to meet growing demand following a surge of new coronavirus infections since the New Year holiday.

Set to operate until Jan 21, the Covid-19 testing centre will be on the first floor of Car Park Building B at the government complex on Chaeng Watthana Road, said Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Sunday.

The free mass-Covid-19 testing service is a joint venture between the National Health Security Office (NHSO), Mahidol University's Faculty of Medical Technology and Dhanarak Asset Development, a state enterprise under the Ministry of Finance.

The testing centre will operate on weekdays only.

Antigen test kits (ATK) intended for professional medical use will be deployed at the testing centre, and the test result will be known in 30 minutes after each test, he said.

Anyone who tests positive will be taken into the NHSO's home and community isolation programme for Covid-19 patients, sent to a field hospital or admitted to a hospital where appropriate, he said.

In the case of home or community isolation, infected patients with mild infection symptoms will be supplied with necessary mediations, meals and some medical devices crucial for monitoring their symptoms, said Attaporn Limpanyalert, deputy secretary-general of the NHSO.

The high demand for testing has been affecting businesses required to test their customers and staff regularly for Covid-19.

Wasan Sanguanthoikham, a member of the business and tourism association of Pattaya city in Chon Buri, urged the government to help business operators in Pattaya by supplying them with ATKs at cost price, to help defray their expenses.

Chon Buri province logged the country's highest number of 921 Covid-19 infections on Sunday.

"We are not asking for free antigen test kits, but ones sold at cost," Mr Wasan said.

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