While we’re toiling away from the calls of #MassTestingNow, Japan’s famous vending machines are now stocking up on do-it-yourself COVID-19 PCR tests. The usual soda and bubble gum machines are shaking.
ICYDK, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are the ‘gold standard‘ for COVID-19 diagnosis, as they require nasal or saliva swabs to determine the presence or past fragments of the virus.
Per SoraNews24, a vending machine near Jomoyoin Buddhist temple in Tokyo’s Taito Ward was found to contain dozens of PCR test packets for civilians to test to their hearts desire, or if they have plenty of 3,500 yen (PHP 1,600+) to spare.
After buying your own packet for 3,500 yen (again, just PHP 1,600+), you get your PCR Test Kit from the Takenoko Clinic in Saitama Prefecture.
The kit contains testing materials such as plastic bags, a dropper, an instruction manual, and more for people to send in their saliva sample to Takenoko Clinic’s processing lab.
The process apparently only takes five minutes, and you can drop off your packaged sample in the mail with a filled-in contact sheet right after.
After 24 hours, testers can expect a text from the clinic with their diagnosis. Fortunately, the results came back negative for this one.
Meanwhile, the US is also planning to roll out at-home test kits soon enough, with startup company Wellness 4 Humanity offering saliva tests in Oakland airport terminals vending machines for $149 (PHP 7,200+).
With the rest of the world turning its attention to COVID-19 vaccine security and deployment, once-elusive tests in literal vending machines is a hopeful sign that we’re on the road to mass testing.
As we should