Vienna bike couriers deliver home Covid-19 tests

Antonio Sánchez Solís

Vienna, Oct 23 (efe-epa).- Instead of delivering packages or food to people’s homes, around 130 bike messengers in Vienna have started delivering free PCR tests to people with Covid-19 symptoms so that they can be tested without ever leaving their homes.

Contracted by the City’s health authorities, couriers collect and deliver up to a thousand tests every day to different laboratories in the Austrian capital.

The results are returned within between 24 to 48 hours, and patients can check them on a website that can be accessed with a personalized PIN code sent by text message to their mobile phones.


These PCR tests are performed using a gargle method developed by Austrian scientists, instead of the usual method of taking samples from the nose and throat.

Apart from being more convenient and comfortable for the user, the system does not require the participation of health workers, thereby saving human resources that may be needed elsewhere as infections rapidly increase and allowing more tests to be performed in less time.

Sample collection begins with a call to the toll-free 1450 number, which provides information on how to proceed if the person is showing symptoms or has been in contact with a confirmed positive case.

The user is then either referred to one of the two free testing centers in the city or asked to wait at home for the arrival of the bike messenger with the test kit.


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