For ensuring convenience in Covid testing, Japan has introduced vending machines to buy Covid testing kits. The government conducts just 40,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests per day. The testing in people who are quite symptomatic or belongs to a high-risk category was limited due to measures opted to reserve manpower and hospital resources. Currently, the public depends largely on private clinics for buying PCR tests by other means.
The vending machines which sell test kits have become a good alternative for consumers to avoid overcrowding in clinics or to wait for an appointment, said Hideki Takemura, director of the Laketown Takenoko Ear Nose and Throat Clinic which has set up seven machines in the greater Tokyo area.
Takemura said the news agency, “Japan was conducting a ridiculously low number of PCR tests and as a result, more and more people couldn’t tell whether they had a cold or the coronavirus”. “Without PCR tests, no diagnosis is possible and I felt we had to do more so that people could be diagnosed early and isolate early.”
It is noted that the public positively responds with the installation of vending machines as some machines needed to be emptied of money twice a day, Takemura added. According to reports, the covid cases were diminishing, as the number was averaged around 250 over the past seven days in contrast with the reporting of more than 2,000 in early January.