ERNAKULAM: A Kerala hospital has indigenously developed a walk-in sample collection kiosk to test patients showing symptoms of coronavirus. The kiosk, modelled on those used in South Korea, does not require health workers to wear protective gear.
The kiosks have built-in gloves, which can be used by health workers as protective shield while collecting throat swab samples of persons suspected with covid-19. This will be a departure from the usual practice of wearing gloves and other protective gear.
All entry and exit to these kiosks operate automatically using magnetic doors. They also have an exhaust fan, a chair and ultraviolet light for a patient's convenience. After each patient leaves the kiosks, the gloves and chair are decontaminated with disinfectants and can be reused.
A kiosk has been installed in Government Medical College Hospital in Ernakulam district. It was developed by a team of doctors, people's representatives and health officials, inspired by the ones set up in South Korea, said Ernakulam collector S Suhas.
In a usual scenario, protective gears worth ₹1,000 were used to collect samples of each patient, but a kiosk, which cost ₹40,000, has reduced it to zero. Two kiosks would be set up at the medical college and more will soon be installed at other hospitals, he said.
Currently, four hospitals are taking samples from suspected patients in Ernakulam. Kiosks will be installed in all of them to replace the existing sample-collection system. Additionally, the kiosks will be installed at public hotspots and airports to curb community transmission, said NK Kuttappan, district medical officer.
Kuttappan said the region's Alangad panchayat’s elected representative TK Shajahan, who is also a member of the state Pollution Control Board, had come up with a detailed model for the kiosk and sponsored the first two kiosks.
Meanwhile, Kerala has also installed a mass disinfection tunnel in one of its busiest public places - Shaktan market in Thrissur. Farmers, traders and buyers who arrive at this market will have to pass through this tunnel and will be sprayed with disinfectants.