Taking cue from Kerala, the experts of Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) have developed a mobile COVID-19 testing van in which swab samples are collected by health workers from inside a glass encasement,minimising risk of exposure to novel coronavirus.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb gave information about the van which he said will also cut down Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) wastage.
The three-wheeler van can negotiate through the narrow lanes and facilitate easy sample collection from the entire community, the chief minister wrote in his facebook post.
AMC Commissioner Dr Sailesh Kumar Yadav said, kioskis placed on the van for carrying rapid random community testing.
He said the device has been fashioned after the Kerala model where stationary testing kiosks are placed infront of the hospitals.
The testing van is first-of-its kind in the northeastern region, a top AMC official claimed.
The chief minister wrote in his Facebook page,”Now patients wouldn’t need to go to hospitals to provide samples. Besides, it will help in conducting a large number of tests inshort period of time.
On the inaugural day on Monday, the mobile testing unit collected swabs from doctors and paramedics underquarantine, who had earlier treated COVID-19 patients in the hospital, West Tripura district health surveillance officerDr. Sangeeta Chakraborty said.
From Tuesday, it has been deployed for general publicand the van collected swab samples of people in Maharajganj Bazaar and other prominent markets of the capital city, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of West Tripura district Debasish Dassaid.
The Northeastern state of Tripura does not have any Covid patient now. But, the state continues to be on guard against the deadly virus.
“We can now undertake rapid random community testing by using such vans. Medical experts can collect swab samples of people from inside a glass encasement, so there is no chance of having any physical contact,” the AMC commissioner,who is also head of the Smart City Project, implemented by the corporation in Agartala, said.