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India's Defence Lab Develops COVID-19 Sample Collection Kiosk for Health Workers

© REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUIA health worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant at a crematorium to slow the spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), after India extended a nationwide lockdown to contain the disease, in New Delhi, India, April 14, 2020.
A health worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant at a crematorium to slow the spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), after India extended a nationwide lockdown to contain the disease, in New Delhi, India, April 14, 2020.  - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): All the top agencies are on their toes along with the Indian government to combat the coronavirus and stop it from affecting more areas in the country.

In a bid to improve the safety of health workers, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lab has developed a COVID sample collection kiosk (COVSACK) that will serve in combating the infectious virus.

COVSACK is a kiosk to be used by healthcare workers for taking COVID-19 samples from suspected infected patients, says the DRDO.

“A patient has to walk into the kiosk and a nasal or oral swab is taken by healthcare professional from outside through the built-in gloves. The kiosk is automatically disinfected by spraying disinfectant mist from 4 nozzle sprayers mounted on it without need for human intervention and screen of cabin protects the healthcare worker from aerosols/droplet transmission while taking the sample”, India’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The introduction of the kiosk reduces the requirements of PPE changing by healthcare workers, the ministry stated.

After a patient leaves the Kiosk, “four nozzle sprayers mounted in the kiosk cabin disinfect the empty chamber by spraying a disinfectant mist for a period of 70 seconds”.

According to the ministry, “It is further flushed with water and Ultra Violet light disinfection. The system is ready for next use in less than two minutes”.

“Voice command can be given through two-way communication system integrated with the COVSACK. It is possible to configure COVSACK to be used either from inside or outside as required by the medical professionals”, the statement added.

As per the ministry, COVSACK costs around INR 100,000 ($1,310 approx.) and the DRDO has designed and developed two units. It has handed over these to ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad after successful testing.

India’s COVID-19 cases have crossed 10,000 while over 300 people have lost their lives, according to the Health Ministry.

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