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CM launches mobile testing kiosk

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Initiative of Tejasvi Surya, it provides for swift, safe collection of samples in clusters and hotspots

BENGALURU:

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday launched a mobile Covid-19 testing kiosk for the swift collection and testing of the COVID-19 infection in identified clusters or hotspots.

An initiative of Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya, the mobile testingkiosk eradicates the need for at-risk persons to visit the nearest hospital or clinic and helps in effective implementation of social distancing norms during collection and testing of samples.

Two booths were launched in the presence of Health Minister B Sriramulu, Covid-19 spokesperson and Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar, Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya and Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan. While one booth will be stationed near the Chief Minister’s office ‘Krishna’, the other will be deployed in Bengaluru South.


TEAM EFFORT
“Through the kiosk, we have reduced the risk of COVID-suspect individuals spreading the infection to those around them,” said Surya, whose office brought together fabrication experts, doctors from RGUHS and HCG, technical advice from young doctors from KLE Institute, and financial assistance to build the kiosk.

“Any person, who suspects that he or she has the Covid-19 infection, may report to the mobile kiosk instead of going to hospital or the fever clinics, thereby increasing the risk of spreading the infection to others. Such a mobile kiosk can be placed in a large area in a hotspot locality and through this utility, we can also ensure that social distancing norms are followed. I thank the Chief Minister for launching the first kiosk today, which will be stationed at his office.”

The booths have been developed by Manoj P Kudtharkar of Mantra e-ventures, a start-up based in Bengaluru. Dr Vishal Rao, member of the Covid-19 Consultative Group, an advisory body to the Government of Karnataka, has mentored the project. Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences will provide assistance in scaling up the operations, using its network of colleges and hospitals for the testing of individuals on the ground.


VIRUS RESISTANT
The booth, 6.5 feet in height and 3 feet in width, is made of aluminum and acrylic glass, surfaces known to be resistant against the coronavirus. Resembling a telephone booth, it can be mounted on a mini-truck or a pick-up truck, which can be parked in an open field or a cluster. The utility also supports Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for booth workers (healthcare staff). Gloves and a medical kit to collect samples are placed inside the booth for the healthcare worker.

“These booths reduce the cost of PPEs by above 95% and decrease the pollution caused by the used PPE that has to be disposed of frequently,” Manoj said. “Moreover, the booth is movable and the testing can be taken to the public while ensuring sufficient safety norms for medical professionals and the public. I am glad to partner with the office of Tejasvi Surya in driving forth these kiosks.”

HOW IT WORKS

An individual walks up to the mobile booth and stands in front of the glass exterior. The healthcare worker, stationed inside the booth, collects swab samples from the individual. The ‘booth worker’ follows the necessary sanitisation process before proceeding to take the next sample. A public address system will provide simple instructions for the individual for his/her entry and exit. The collection process, fully contactless, gets over in five minutes. The samples are then taken to the nearest Covid-19 lab for further investigation.

The system will help adhere to the government’s social distancing norms for individuals queueing up before the kiosk, and also the healthcare workers. With just two persons involved in the entire collection procedure, the booth requires fewer personnel to collect, operate and transport the samples. It also makes the collection procedure simple, straightforward, swift and seamless.

SPOTS IDENTIFIED
The MP’s office has identified six spots in Bengaluru South so far for the deployment of the mobile kiosks. These spots will be located in the Sudhamnagar, Karisandra, JP Nagar, Singasandra, Bapujinagar and Madiwala wards.

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