Zagreb and Karlovac introduce “drive-in” coronavirus testing, warning for cities in Dalmatia

The aim of the new test method is to speed up diagnostics and increase the number of people tested

  • April 04, 2020 11:00
  • Author Diana Todorova
Medium glavna snimka drive in diana zagreb
Source: Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, NZZJZ "Dr. Andrija Štampar"

Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health in Zagreb introduced the first "drive-in" diagnostics of coronavirus in the country. With this method, people do not need to get out of their cars, which increases the safety level of the person being tested and of the doctors as well.

As all the required documents go through the e-referral system and the person being tested is on a pre-prepared list, there is no contact between the patients and the health care professionals. The Andrija Stampar Institute reminds patients in the Croatian capital that only their selected family physician can put them on the list for any kind of testing, including “drive-in” ones.

Zagreb and Karlovac introduce “drive-in” coronavirus testing, warning for cities in Dalmatia

First “drive in” diagnostics of coronavirus in Croatia, Source: Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health

How does the “drive-in” method work?

Doctors advise that the man who comes in for the “drive-in” test must sit diagonally as far away from the driver as possible and wear a mask. At the sign of a medical professional, he then lowers his mask, the sample is taken in a few seconds, and immediately after that, the tested person can go home.

For the “drive-in” method the Andrija Stampar Institute uses a test that detects all three coronavirus genes, and doctors assure that it is completely safe.

“Drive-in” testing in Karlovac

“Drive-in” testing was also introduced at Karlovac General Hospital. Until now all patients tested for the virus had to undergo the test in front of the hospital building. Now people coming in to have their sample taken will be tested on a “drive-in” station at a public parking lot.

When introducing the new method, doctors from the Karlovac General Hospital sent out an encouraging message. The specialists were greeting their patients with a heart sign they made with their hands.

Karlovac General HospitalEncouraging message from Karlovac General Hospital, Source: Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health

Serious warning to cities in Dalmatia

On Thursday, Croatia recorded only 43 new cases of infection, a number almost two times smaller than the one recorded the previous day. The total of infected people in the country has now reached 1011. So far, 7 people have died from the coronavirus and 88 have been cured.

When presenting new information about the virus, Health Minister Vili Beroš aimed harsh criticism at young people in Dalmatia's cities: “In Zadar, Sibenik and Split, young people continue to gather in coffee shops with darkened windows, and they are having fun. This is not acceptable behaviour; they are endangering themselves and their families. I would like to tell everyone to be patient."

Split police officers have also warned citizens that there is a strict restriction of gatherings on the streets and other public places. As sunny and fair weather is announced over the weekend, the police warn citizens that they should remain home.

State and local authorities also urge people to comply with the measures brought against the spread of the virus despite the fair weather on the coast. A recommendation was also made to anyone who still plans to travel to Croatia for the Easter holidays with authorities advising people not to do so. Even if they come to Croatia, they will have to go into self-isolation, officials warn.



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