Japan's vending machines truly sell everything and anything under the sun.
According to SoraNews, you can now purchase a Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test kit from a vending machine in one of Tokyo's neighbourhoods.
The kit helps users to collect, pack, and submit a saliva sample, which is then tested for Covid-19.
The machine is located on the grounds of Jyomyoin Temple, in Taito Ward, an "off-the-beaten-track" Buddhist temple from 1666.
At the push of a button
The vending machine's PCR test kits cost 3,500 yen (~S$45) each.
On the other hand, a PCR test in Singapore can cost up to S$200, and is only available from approved providers, such as hospitals and clinics.
The PCR test is regarded by many as the "gold standard" for Covid-19 testing, for its sensitivity in identifying active infections.
The SoraNews reporter who checked out the machine explained that it was convenient and easy to navigate.
Just put in your bills and coins like you would at any other vending machine, hit the button, and voila.
The test kit comes securely wrapped in a square package.
Processing within 24 hours
Each kit comes with an instruction manual, plastic bags, and apparatus to collect a saliva sample.
The entire test-at-home process reportedly took just five minutes.
Thereafter, you can mail in your packaged sample using a provided envelope, after filling in your contact details.
The saliva sample is sent to a processing lab, with results promised within 24 hours.
At-home test kits
Other than Japan, the United States has also been looking into Covid-19 test kits at home.
According to NPR, the kit by Australian company Ellume was granted emergency authorisation for mass testing in December 2020.
Top image via SoraNews