*Only PCR tests at drive-through centre *RAT to continue at PHCC health centres. *RAT at public, private centres for those under 50, returning travellers *Those positive on RAT do not need PCR confirmation *People above 50 with Covid symptoms or close contacts will be tested using PCR. *Those taking RAT at PHCC health centres will get results by SMS *RAT results to reflect in Ehteraz The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) will open a drive-through Covid-19 testing centre in Lusail Thursday at 4pm to significantly expand capacity and enhance accessibility for swabbing, official Qatar News Agency reported. The new 10 lane drive-through centre will provide only PCR tests with capacity to swab up to 5,000 people a day. Rapid Antigen Tests will continue to be provided at the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) health centres. The new drive-through testing centre will be open seven days a week from 8am to 10pm and continue to operate as a PCR test centre as demand for Covid-19 testing remains exceptionally high due to the Omicron wave, the MoPH said Wednesday. Also, the MoPH has announced with immediate effect a set of updates to its Covid-19 testing protocol to enhance access and ensure tests are processed in the most efficient and effective manner. The updates come following a significant increase in demand for Covid-19 tests due to the third wave of the pandemic, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, and the large number of travellers returning to Qatar in the past ten days seeking post-travel tests. MoPH has also approved the use of Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) at authorised public and private centres for the following groups: For people under 50 who display Covid-19 symptoms, for people under 50 who are close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases, and for travellers returning to Qatar who require post-travel Covid-19 tests. MoPH has described RAT as a fast and accurate screening test to detect Covid-19 virus antigens in the individual. The tests require a nasal swab and the results are available within a short time. Those who test positive on RAT do not need to confirm it with a PCR test. People above 50 who display symptoms or are close contacts will be tested using PCR. The change in RAT policy will enable people who are eligible to have their positive or negative status confirmed more rapidly. Another change is that those who take RAT at PHCC health centres will have their results sent to them via SMS within two hours of the test and the results reflected in Ehteraz within four hours after the test. RAT undertaken in private facilities will be reflected in Ehteraz starting Monday, January 10. Asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) close contacts of an infected case who have received the Covid-19 booster dose or second dose of the vaccine within the last four months, and under 50 years of age with no chronic conditions have the option to take RAT if the individual requests. The MoPH does not require them to be tested because they have very high levels of immunity from the virus. They should continue to follow the precautionary measures and wear a mask as per MoPH policy. Close contacts who are unvaccinated, have not had the booster dose, or had their second dose more than four months ago, in addition to people aged 50 or above and people with chronic conditions will be tested - RAT for those under 50 and PCR test for those aged 50 and above.