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COVID test house call programs thrive | Updated: 2021-02-02 14:02
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Medical worker Ren Zhijun takes a swab sample from a home-bound senior at a community in Suihua city, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, on Jan 27, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has recently seen a boom in nucleic acid test house call programs to meet increasing demand.

As the Spring Festival holiday draws near and a negative nucleic acid test report becomes an important certificate for travel, the demand for testing has risen.

Various internet platforms including Alipay, online drug-selling platform Dingdang Medicine Express and internet-based healthcare provider Weimai, have rolled out house call services for nucleic acid testing, according to a report from People's Daily Overseas Edition.

Users of these internet platforms can make an appointment online, registering the address of the place and the time they want to take the test. A further confirmation call will be made by customer service staff. Professional testing staff in protective suits will visit at the specified time to collect samples, and the online report of the test results can be viewed via smartphone.

In cooperation with third-party testing institutes, Weimai has launched house call services in 40 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Hangzhou. Both individual and group appointments can be scheduled, said Qiu Jialin, founder of the healthcare platform.

A number of hospitals are also offering the service, and Zhuhai Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine in Guangdong province is one of them. The hospital said in a statement it will provide group nucleic acid test house call services. Enterprises, institutions and organizations with more than 100 people taking the test are eligible to book the service.

According to media reports, more than a dozen provincial-level regions, including Beijing, Zhejiang, Hubei, Sichuan and Fujian, have lowered sticker prices for nucleic acid testing at disease prevention and control centers and public medical institutions. In Beijing, for example, the price for each test dropped from 120 yuan ($18.57) to 80 yuan.

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