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Federal government to fund drive-through coronavirus testing clinics

The federal government has agreed to fund drive-through coronavirus testing facilities, as Victoria records its first case of person-to-person coronavirus transmission within the community.

Victorian President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Julian Rait, said coronavirus testing facilities at six to 10 Victorian medical clinics are “in the planning stages”.

“Where we have large general practices with substantial car parks or open land nearby there would be a drive through where people would possibly ring ahead to say they’re coming … then we would have staff of doctors and nurses available to test people,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“The plan is also to try and locate these where there’s a laboratory either on site or very close by.”

One drive through clinic was set up in Altona North yesterday, and Dr Rait says there are plans to quickly upscale that testing facility.

Health authorities are working to ensure medical staff running testing facilities are not working in general practice.

“We’re trying to, obviously, reduce the cross infection so that the doctors that might be doing this are not the ones working in the general practice and potentially engaging with patients who might be vulnerable,” Dr Rait said.

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Image: Mikhail Tereshchenko / Getty