The Canary Islands Ministry of Health have announced that they will this week start to take diagnostic test samples for COVID-19 from a special facility erected at the ground floor of the Elder Museum of Science and Technology in the capital, for any professionals who present symptoms of respiratory infection, without the subject having to leave their vehicle.

The first 30 or so people, this Tuesday, who were able to access this test sampling point, are mainly healthcare personnel, socio-sanitary workers or members of the Security Corps with a clinical potential for respiratory infection, who will be followed by Primary Care professionals and others who have an appointment, said a statement.

The centre occupies a space of about 3,000 square meters that has been prepped in record time with the aim of housing everything the health care staff need to carry out their work: personal protective equipment (PPE), hand hygiene points, foot baths for the shoe disinfection, showers, laundry services, telecommunications equipment, waste disposal points, vehicles for the transport of samples, space for cleaning and disinfecting material, among various other needs.

The facility has been designed so that the sampling can be carried out quickly, easily, safely and without patients having to get out of the car, allowing a trained nurse to collect samples using a nasal swab (nasopharyngeal).

The samples are then transferred securely to one of the two primary hospitals on Gran Canaria, insular or Negrin, and results communicated by telephone, it is hoped within 72 hours after the test.

Preventive measures taken at the site ensure that all waste is disposed of without danger to the population and that staff can return home safely when their work is finished.