Temporary COVID-19 testing centers to shorten operations due to cold spell
SEOUL, Temporary coronavirus screening centers in the greater Seoul area will temporarily curtail their operating hours this week due to the expected onset of the season’s coldest weather, authorities said Wednesday.
About 150 temporary testing stations, launched on Dec. 14 in Seoul and neighboring Gyeonggi Province and Incheon to detect hidden COVID-19 infections, currently operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends.
“All temporary testing centers in the capital area will operate from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Thursday and Sunday,” Yoon Tae-ho, a senior health ministry official, said in a press briefing.
The decision was made to enhance the safety of the medical staff and citizens as a severe cold wave will grip the country, Yoon said, noting their operations will return to normal next week.
The first cold wave warning in three years is set to take effect in the whole of Seoul on Wednesday night and the lowest daily temperatures are forecast to dip to around minus 17-18 C until Sunday.
A total of 143 temporary testing centers are currently in operation in the greater Seoul area and will open until Jan. 17.
As of Wednesday, 2,398 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at the centers. Anyone can take a test by providing only their cell phone number.
Meanwhile, the country added 840 more COVID-19 cases the same day, including 809 local infections, raising the total caseload to 65,818, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
Source: Yonhap News Agency