In Japan, if you want to get tested for COVID-19 just go to the vending cabinet

In Japan, convenience is highly valued, and testing for COVID-19 can bring many inconveniences. Part of the solution lies in the tiny vending machines that are ubiquitous throughout Japan.

A vending machine selling COVID-19 test kits in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan – Photo: REUTERS

With the desire to save hospital manpower and resources, the government only conducts 40,000 PCR tests per day, equivalent to a quarter of the capacity, for those who already have symptoms or are likely to be infected. high. This leads people to depend on private clinics or find ways to buy PCR test kits. The solution to this problem lies in vending machines, which are ubiquitous in Japan.

According to Hideki Takemura, director of Laketown Takenoko otolaryngology clinic in Tokyo, vending machines make it possible for people to buy COVID-19 test kits without going to crowded clinics or having to wait.

“Japan has ridiculously few PCR tests, and as a result, more and more people don’t know they have a cold or the coronavirus,” Takemura told Reuters news agency. . I really feel we have to do more to get people diagnosed and isolated early.”

Mr. Takemura said the vending machines received great support from the public when deployed. Some machines are even full of money up to 2 times in a day. The current demand has softened somewhat as the number of cases has decreased amid many places declaring a state of emergency. The average number of new cases in Tokyo has been around 250 a day for the past seven days, much lower than the 2,000 at the beginning of January.

Ở Nhật, muốn xét nghiệm COVID-19 cứ ra... tủ bán hàng tự động - Ảnh 2.
Mỗi bộ xét nghiệm có giá gần 1 triệu đồng – Ảnh: REUTERS

Each vending machine contains about 60 corona virus test kits, sold for 4,500 yen (nearly 1 million dong). People buy it, take samples themselves, and then send saliva samples to the place of analysis.

Japan has about 4.1 million active vending machines, the most in the world per capita. In addition to vending machines, PCR testing is becoming increasingly popular with Japanese people through purchases at pharmacies or online.

According to newspaper