A public health center in the city of Niigata has launched one of Japan's first drive-thru clinics to test for COVID-19 amid growing demand for tests of the deadly virus.

The drive-thru clinic, which was launched this month and comes after South Korea won plaudits for similar facilities, bypasses the usual lengthy process of having patients first visit doctors for individual checkups to get local health center approval for tests, significantly cutting down on the time required.

The Niigata City Health Services Division confirmed the launch of the drive-thru clinic, but did not reveal if there were multiple facilities or locations, likely due to privacy concerns.