COVID-19 testing centers are getting ready for Omicron.
Starting from Wednesday four parts of South Korea that have seen widespread Omicron infections, Pyeongtaek and Anseong cities in Gyeonggi-do Province, Gwangju and Jeollanam-do Province, will have rapid antigen self-test kits available at their testing centers.
These quick-to-use kits are here to test as many people as possible, to help cope with the steep spike in infections.
"These rapid antigen tests are like screening tests. When Omicron cases increase, we won't be able to test everybody with PCR. That's why we need to first test people with these rapid tests."
"So over there, there's the line for people waiting to get their PCR tests.
Now here, there's a new line, for people waiting to get the rapid antigen tests.
After these people get tested, they'll have to wait over here for about 15 minutes to get their test results back."
I've also tried the rapid antigen testing myself.
On the first day of trials, the clinic's medical workers were there to help me and others through the process to minimize confusion.
But these rapid tests are actually supposed to be self-administered.
Once there's an overflow of people coming here to get tested, it's going to be up to themselves to test for the virus, so that health workers don't carry the unbearable workload alone.
"I'm pretty nervous to see if I test positive.
If I do, I have to get tested once again with the PCR tests, along with other high-risk groups."
High risk groups include those who are 60 or older, those whose health conditions put them at high risk, or those who have enough reason to suspect that they have been infected with COVID-19.
"Kim Yeon-seung, negative "
"Luckily, I have tested negative, so I'm good to go. If I want, I can even get a temporary vaccine pass waiver that lasts for 24 hours."
From Saturday, the rapid antigen tests will be rolled out at testing centers nationwide.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News