Jhe health authorities suspended operation of the new outdoor nucleic acid testing (NAT) collection station on its first day of operation.
According to the local coordinator of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Leong Iek Hou, the first such facility to be placed in a public park or garden had to close at noon yesterday due to extreme heat.
“We suspended service from the NAT station located in Iao Hon Market Park during the afternoon because it was very hot, but operations will resume later in the evening,” Leong said during the daily briefing. Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center.
According to the same official, during the period the station was open, a total of 1,500 people used it for NAT of key groups and areas.
To several media inquiries, she also explained that these stations will be installed by the government and supervised by the Health Bureau, but operated by a third party, like most of the NAT stations located across the city.
Leong also clarified that the operating system of these stations will be similar to all others located in indoor facilities, except that in these cabins it is not necessary to print the sticker that identifies the tube. with the sample collected.
“The only difference is that at these stations there is no need to print the sticker, the workers just directly scan the QR code of the users with their equipment and then take the sample. These samples will also be analyzed later in a 10-in-1 mixed sample method like all the others,” Leong explained.
She also noted that all stations to be set up in outdoor spaces, such as this one which started operations yesterday, follow the same government standards and guidelines and that all contracts with operators have the same priority requirements to be given. hiring local residents to do the sampling.
More of these stations using public spaces such as parks and gardens are expected to open soon, as authorities say they are currently “proposing other suitable places for these stations to be installed”.
As she had already mentioned last Sunday, Leong noted that the idea is that these stations can replace those located on school premises, to allow schools to resume normal activities in the new school year.
She said these stations will primarily be used for the continued performance of mandatory NAT for different key groups and key areas, suggesting that in case there is a need for more rounds of city-wide mass testing to the general population, schools might need once more to be put to use by the health authorities.