Posted in Extras

PCR Test, American Style !

  • Drive-in PCR test for Covid 19 in the US for least contact
  • PCR test FREE in the US, not chargeable. Result in one day.
  • Rapid test (for antibody) for covid 19 gives result in one hour ) (not acceptable in some airlines and in some countries)
  • NO DOCUMENTARY PROOF requirement for the test

Had to undergo a PCR test to fly QA from America. This is now mandated by most countries these days as we know, even if we are fully vaccinated against Covid 19. For a fact, i had taken both my Covishield (Astrazeneca) doses in India. We googled and found the nearest lab testing for covid in Chantilly, Virginia where we were staying a few days before flying. CVS pharmacy did it and we had to book a prior appointment for the test which was a drive-in one. When booking the appointment, we were asked for personal details such as names and addresses, contact no and date of birth. We immediately got an email confirming appointment and giving us a registration number. At the appointed time when we drove through the single window serving the PCR test purpose in the pharmacy, we were cross-checked for details. When things tallied, we were handed down a transparent envelop with two compartments for a self-test to our surprise. I was half-expecting a lab tech to extend a hand from the window with a cotton swab to insert into my nostril! One compartment in the envelope contained a printed leaf with our personal details. It also had another sheet of instructions as to how to do the PCR self-test with illustrations. Thirdly there was a small single slim and long paper pouch of about 10 cms perhaps containing a cotton swab stick for insertion in our nostrils. Fourth, there was a small square of a paper towel to wipe nose on finishing. The second compartment merely had a small test-tube with a stopper. It contained fluid one quarter or perhaps one half.

As per the illustration, I verified the personal details first and ensured that the entries were correct along with registration number. I wanted mine to be spelt exactly like in my passport as i had to carry the certificate for my international travel purposes. Secondly, i studied carefully the self-test method and made sure i got it exactly. Thirdly i tore open the paper pouch and took out the swab stick with one inch or so of cotton at the other end. I took care to tear the pouch where it was mentioned, which was not the cotton end. I carefully placed the swab stick into my left nostril and saw to that the cotton part was fully within my nose as instructed. I rotated the stick (which can be compared to match stick for instance, only a little longer, say about 10-12 cm approx.) clockwise and anticlockwise thrice as it was directed, touching all the inner walls. For 45 seconds i retained the swab within my nostril and then pulled out. I repeated the procedure for my right nostril next with the same cotton swab. Then I carefully opened the test tube in the envelop and deposited the stick with the swab dipping into the liquid in there. The break-off point was clearly marked in the stick so it was easy for me to break the stick nicely for the swab portion to snug-fit into the test tube. I sealed the lid tightly and returned the tube to the second compartment of the envelope. I sealed next this inner compartment first.

I sealed the envelope with both the compartments next totally. There was a drop box for us to deposit the samples. We did just that. In the information sheet and in the email was listed the lab test results website. We only had to enter our registration number to check for updates. We could download the results after twenty four hours. It was stated that the results could arrive anytime from 24 hours to 76 hours but we got ours online in 48 hours as orally indicated by the pharmacist.

For the PCR test, the pharmacy did not bill us. PCR TEST IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is FREE! yayyy In India, it costs nothing less than 2k to my knowledge.

In last six months i have given four PCR tests already for my travels. I found the one in the US most user-friendly and hassle-free. It is a great service rendered by the US government, not charging a single penny for the test. Frequent travelers have to undergo PCR every now and then. Further, the working class people may benefit immensely because of waiving of the cost/charge for the test. Truly a wonderful humanitarian service. I wish Indian government could replicate this selfless service. India citizens spend heavily on PCR tests and our labour class especially have come to bear the brunt. Even for moving from state to state, India has necessitated PCR tests. It will go a long way in helping the lower middle class if PCR tests are available free of costs at least in government hospitals in India. I am well aware of the overhead cost run, just a thought. Any free service also must not dilute the quality of our PCR tests.

Thank you America, truly a big hearted and mature nation! How many refugees find a home with you even if you are derided and misquoted on immigrants. How many from around the world come to you to realize the great American dream. I find the US most user-friendly nation in my limited experience, with everything very well streamlined and hassle-free. Life just gets that much simpler and easier.

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