THE FIRST COVID-19 testing booth in the city has been set up outside the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH) in Sector 16. The booth, which was designed by a company called Project Life Medtech, will limit healthcare professionals’ direct exposure to suspected patients while testing them for coronavirus, allowing them to test without wearing a PPE kit.
“The kiosk has been designed keeping in mind the safety and comfort of healthcare workers. The staff inside will not be in direct physical contact with the patient and hence won’t even require a PPE, thereby reducing costs of PPE procurement,” says Dr Pradeep Atter, a resident from GMCH 32 who co-founded Project Life Medtech with Akul Chopra. However, the healthcare professional inside is still advised to wear disposable gloves and an N95 mask inside the booth as a precaution.
The patient will pick up a test tube for the sample from box to his or her right attached outside the booth and hand it over to the healthcare professional who can stick out his or her hands from holes made in the glass cover of the booth for that purpose. The healthcare worker will take the swab of the patient and place it inside the tube, and hand over the tube to the patient, who will then deposit it in a box attached to his or her left. This collection box will then be taken away by a separate team for testing.
The booth can potentially increase the time taken to conduct testing, while cutting down the number of healthcare staff involved in testing. According to Dr Atter, the total time for testing one patient using the kiosk will be five minutes, including two minutes for the testing itself and the rest for disinfecting the glass panel separating the healthcare worker from the patient. “Assuming eight hours of functioning, 96 samples can be tested in such a way in a day,” says Dr Atter.
“We are yet to begin using the sampling kiosk but shall conduct some tests as per its efficacy and begin using it soon,” says an official source from GMSH-16. However, the booth cannot be accessed as drive-through testing centre. “Those tested there will be the patients screened and referred by the hospital as per the usual protocol of the UT,” the source adds.
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