Many researchers have been working on COVID-19 test kits as the requirement of testing has increased as new waves of Coronavirus infection are being reported. Now, there is a vending machine, installed in a hospital in Europe, that issues COVID-19 tests and stores the samples that can help to contain the spread of the disease.

Yes, you heard it right, it is a vending machine, the first of its kind in the world and the first of 100 to be rolled out in Latvia. As reported, this unusual vending machine has been installed outside a hospital in Latvia's capital, Riga.

Vending machine
Vending machine for coronavirus tests (representational picture) Pixabay

PCR Swab Test

The machine at the Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital in Riga dispenses PCR swab tests. This kind of test involves taking swabs from the throat and nose and testing for the genetic code (RNA) of the virus. Currently, a majority of tests are being performed around the world using this particular method.

After tests have been retrieved from the vending machine, the samples are placed back for storage. Then at the end of the day, a technician collects the tests. Maybe it is not the usual way to conduct testing but Didzis Gavars of the E. Gulbja Laboratory told Reuters that the results become available after 24 hours. "The device removes the need for two to five medical workers to administer the tests, and it removes any risk of infection," he added. While the state pays for the COVID-19 at the hospital in Riga where the vending machine is reserved for the medical staff, other machines will charge $64 per test.

Before this vending machine for COVID-19 tests, Latvia had such machines for disposable face masks in railway stations. After the recent surge in Coronavirus cases all over Europe, including Latvia, which reported more than 24,000 Coronavirus cases, COVID-29 testing has also risen. The government has also decided to extend the "state of emergency" status till January 11, 2021.