- Innovative way to beat severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment
- First installed in South Korea, low-cost kiosks reach Kerala and then Mysuru
Mysore/Mysuru: Inspired by South Korea’s innovative way of testing for Novel Coronavirus symptoms, the designated COVID-19 Hospital (District Hospital, Mysore) on KRS Road has set up low-cost kiosks at its premises for safe collection of samples of symptomatic people. The swab collection and screening process will begin tomorrow.
The COVID WISK (Walk-in Sample Kiosk) is shaped like an old telephone booth that is closed from four sides. One side is made of glass with two openings where detachable and disposable rubber gloves are fixed. The gloves are fixed for the health worker to insert a hand and collect blood and swab samples from symptomatic patients. After South Korea started this facility, certain hospitals in Kerala too installed such kiosks.
The kiosk will not require the staff collecting samples to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The staff can stand inside the kiosk and collect the throat swabs without exposing themselves to the person under observation. The exposed part of the glove will be sanitised after each use. Five screening kiosks and one sample collection kiosk have been set up at the designated COVID-19 Hospital and each kiosk costs about Rs. 40,000. Samples are collected under a controlled environment and the test results will be out in 30 minutes.
Results in 30 minutes
A nodal officer and a doctor will be present at the kiosk and they will certify if the patient is positive or negative. They will decide if the patient is to be isolated, quarantined or let free.
The positive samples are then sent to the state-of-the-art Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the Department of Microbiology in Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (K.R. Hospital) for confirmation and further action.
Shortage of PPEs
Sources told Star of Mysore that there is a shortage of PPEs in Mysuru. “COVID WISK helps reduce the consumption of PPE as health workers can safely collect the samples from inside this. This will also be helpful for mass screenings. If a large number of people from a particular area have to be screened, a WISK can be easily set up in that locality and it will ensure faster and simple collection of samples,” sources said.
The nodal officer at the kiosk said that the structure is safe and an easy makeable thing. Crucially, it gives adequate protection to the healthcare workers as well as the patients. PPEs — costing Rs. 2,000 per unit — that are in short supply can be saved and can be used to treat the positive patients, he added.
The 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.