TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday (May 6) announced that 190 clinics can begin to offer PCR testing and released an online interactive map showing the locations of these clinics.
CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that in order to deal with the influx of people rushing to hospital emergency rooms for COVID testing, nearly 200 neighborhood clinics have been mobilized to offer PCR tests to expand testing capacity and relieve some of the burden on hospitals.
Chen said that of the 437 clinics affiliated with the Taiwan Medical Association and the Taiwan Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 190 have completed the procedures to become authorized PCR testing centers so far. According to Chen, people who have tested positive on rapid antigen kits and have suspected COVID symptoms can go to the clinics to undergo PCR testing.
In order to facilitate public access to these clinics, Chen said the CECC has created an online map titled the "Map of nationally designated community testing institutions for COVID-19." Once they have located a nearby clinic on the map, they are advised to call the facility first to set up an appointment for a PCR test.
Chen said more clinics will be announced as they receive approval to provide PCR screening. Chen reminded the public that those at risk of having contracted the virus who have a fever, respiratory symptoms, abnormal sense of smell and taste, unexplained diarrhea, or tested positive on a rapid antigen test should wear a medical mask and arrange for a visit to the nearest clinic for a nucleic acid test and evaluation by a physician.
He advised the public to beware of serious symptoms such as wheezing; difficulty breathing; persistent chest pain or tightness; delirium; blue skin, lips, or nail beds; a heartbeat over 100 beats per minute; difficulty eating or drinking; or a significant decrease in urination over the past 24 hours. If a person experiences such severe symptoms, Chen recommends that they go to a hospital emergency department as soon as possible.
The online map showing the nearest PCR-testing clinics can be found on the CDC website.