Kerala

Safer sample collection kiosks set up

In the event of a community spread, the units will be of much use

The Ernakulam district administration has set up a walk-in sample collection kiosk (WISK) that will do away with the need for a health-care worker to wear a personal protective equipment (PPE) to collect the throat swab sample of a person suspected to have COVID-19. Instead, the health-care worker will utilise the protective shield of the kiosk while taking swabs.

The kiosks were made indigenously on the advice of a team led by doctors at the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH), Ernakulam, and medical officers of the Health Department in the district.

The idea was based on the kiosks being used in South Korea, said District Collector S. Suhas at the demonstration of the kiosk at the collectorate on Monday. The kiosks will help reduce the use of the PPE, priced at ₹1,000 a kit, besides help bring down the waste generated by the one-time-use kit. Two kiosks, priced ₹40,000 each, would be set up at the MCH.

Facilities installed

For the safety of the health-care worker and the person from whom the swab is collected, the kiosk is fitted with magnetic doors, an exhaust fan, and ultraviolet light. After each sample collection, the gloves fitted on the kiosks and the chair in front of it would be decontaminated. It could bring down the practical difficulties in sample collection, said Mr. Suhas.

These kiosks will be helpful in the event of community spread that would necessitate a lot more tests. It takes only a minute or two to take the swabs. The district COVID-19 control room, headed by Mr. Suhas, plans to have a kiosk each at sample collection centres such as the Muvattupuzha general hospital, Aluva district hospital, and Karuvelipady government hospital. Two more centres, Tripunithura taluk hospital and Paravur taluk hospital, are likely to get the kiosk. Doctors associated with the development of the kiosk said it could be used at airports for screening passengers without exposing health workers to the threat of the disease.

A member of the Pollution Control Board and the Alangad panchayat’s standing committee chairman for health T.K. Shajahan had come up with a detailed model for the kiosk with the help of a team. Mr. Shajahan, a businessman, had sponsored the two kiosks.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 10:48:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/safer-sample-collection-kiosks-set-up/article31274675.ece

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