Starting from today (29th), a new diagnostic test system will be operated starting with COVID-19 screening clinics across the country.

After the Lunar New Year holiday, from the 3rd of next month, the new examination and treatment system was expanded to temporary screening clinics, respiratory clinics, and local hospitals and clinics, and the full-fledged operation began.

According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, from today until the end of the Lunar New Year holidays, PCR (gene amplification) testing and rapid antigen testing will be conducted at 256 corona 19 screening centers installed in public health centers and large hospitals across the country.

Accordingly, visitors to the screening clinic can choose between the current PCR test, which has high accuracy but takes at least half a day to get the test result, or the rapid antigen test, which has low accuracy but can check the result within a few minutes. .

Starting from the 3rd of next month, right after the Lunar New Year holiday, the new test system will be implemented in earnest, and priority test subjects will be subjected to PCR test and other subjects will undergo rapid antigen test.

From this point on, the new testing system will be introduced not only at screening clinics, but also at about 1,000 hospitals and clinics participating in COVID-19 treatment, such as temporary screening centers (213 locations) and respiratory clinics (431 locations) across the country.

In the new testing system, people aged 60 years or older or those with epidemiological connections (close contacts, overseas entrants, and those tested before release from quarantine) are considered 'priority test subjects' and undergo PCR testing first.

In this case, if you go to the screening clinic with proof of priority, such as an ID card, employment certificate, text to designate the test subject, doctor's note, and vacation certificate, you will be immediately subjected to a PCR test.

Except for the priority subjects, PCR test can be performed only if a positive antigen test is performed at a screening clinic or a medical institution designated as a respiratory clinic.

If you visit a respiratory clinic, you will receive a rapid antigen test (for experts) after consulting a doctor.

If this test is positive or a doctor's opinion that a COVID-19 test is necessary, you can be included in the priority test list and receive a PCR test at a screening clinic or a relevant medical institution.

If the final test result is positive, you will be prescribed an oral treatment such as 'Paxrovid' at the relevant hospital or clinic.

If you visit a screening clinic or a temporary screening laboratory, you can receive a free rapid antigen test (personal) kit.

In principle, the test kit received at the clinic or test center should be used on site, but if the queue is long, you can go home and use it.

However, the negative confirmation for the quarantine pass (inoculation certificate, negative confirmation system) can be issued only when the test is conducted under the supervision of the on-site manager and the result is negative.

(Photo = Yonhap News)