Ibaraki prefectural officials get tour of PCR testing bus

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Technicians prepare PCR tests in a specially modified bus outside the Ibaraki prefectural office on Friday.

MITO — Ibaraki prefecture officials were given a first-hand look at a large-scale bus that could serve as a PCR testing venue outside the prefectural government office on Friday.

The officials were briefed on the testing process in the bus, which is powered by hydrogen-fuel cells and can generate its own electricity. In the event of a disaster, it can be sent to affected areas to carry out testing and help prevent the spread of the infections among disaster victims.

The bus was developed by the University of Tsukuba, which modified a large fuel cell bus manufactured by Toyota Motor Corp. by outfitting it with testing equipment.

Test results can be obtained in as little as 40 minutes from the reception of a sample, and 3,000 people per day can be tested, the university said.

Friday’s tour was attended by officials from the prefectural government’s infectious disease control and disaster and crisis management sections. “It is very encouraging that we can have a secure means for PCR testing in times of disaster and other contingencies,” said the director of the infectious disease control section.