Community Survey: Drive through swabbing hubs for Covid-19 tests 2,500 people

May 07, 2020

As part of the country wide efforts to manage the Covid-19 outbreak, MOPH in collaboration with PHCC, HMC Ambulance, HMC Laboratories and Qatar University operated drive through swabbing hubs at three PHCC health centres for two days. The aim of this exercise was to conduct a community survey and gain more insight into community transmission and asymptomatic cases, which will in turn inform policy decisions.

HE Dr Hanan Al Kuwari, Minster of Health said “We are constantly looking at new ways of identifying any undetected cases in the community so that we help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide the appropriate care and support to people who have the virus but who are showing no symptoms. We have used drive through testing in the past successfully and we invite you to join this latest drive through initiative. I urge everyone who receives an SMS to take part and get tested.”

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a major impact across the globe. This survey will allow better understanding of the flow of the virus in the community and adapt responses to the scientific findings,” an MOPH statement said.

In line with national guidance, the swabbing hubs at PHCC health tested 2500 members of the public at 3 Primary Health Care Centres; Al Thumama, Al Waab and Leabaib staffed by PHCC, HMC and Qatar University Volunteers.

This service was not a drop-in service and only those who meet the nationally agreed criteria for research and have been asked to attend will be given the test.


Those referred to the drive through swabbing hubs arrived in their own car and did not enter the building. They were registered and asked a series of questions for research purposes, then proceeded to be swabbed by specially trained Health Worker. The swabbing process involved a cotton bud being inserted into the nose, the sample was then securely stored and transported to HMC Laboratory for analysis.

Once partipants were swabbed at one of the drive through hubs, they will receive results from the Ministry of Public Health as soon as possible by phone.

Members of the public called for the test were not suspect COVD19 patients.

“We continue to work closely with our key stakeholders across the Sector to determine requirements for these services to be provided in the future,” MOPH added.