DOST starts mass producing telephone-booth style swabbing kiosk for coronavirus

TESTING BOOTHS. The Department of Science and Technology on Monday, April 27, unveils the testing booths that will aid the mass testing initiatives in the country.

Photo from the DOST website

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Monday, April 27, unveiled the sample collection booths (SCBs) it was mass producing to aid mass testing initiatives in the country. 

The testing booths, designed and fabricated by Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise Inc (FAME), were inspired by the telephone booth-style coronavirus testing stations in other Asian countries. 

According to the DOST, the SCBs passed the initial performance assessment conducted at the Regional Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, and Dr Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.

The DOST also said that the booths are compact with good ventilation. They were also designed to "remotely monitor the patient's temperature and is a good protective barrier between the frontliner and the suspected COVID-19 patient." 

"This was designed to improve our testing capacity in our testing centers and hospitals without direct contact between the patient and the health worker, taking the samples or specimen of the patient," DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said in Filipino during a virtual press briefing Monday morning. 

According to the DOST, the testing will be done by seating each patient outside the booth while the health worker takes the swab of the patient using arm-length nitrile gloves built into the front window of the booth.

The specimen taken will be brought to accredited laboratories for diagnostic purposes.

The SCBs will be placed in testing hubs identified by the DOH. (READ: Where are testing centers for coronavirus in PH?)

Fortunato said that they were unveiling the design for other manufacturers who are interested in reproducing the SCB.

The copy of the SCB design will be available starting Tuesday, April 28, to all DOST offices nationwide. 

The initial 132 SCBs will be placed in hospitals dentified by the DOH. (READ: Where are testing centers for coronavirus in PH?)

The project is jointly supported by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development and the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

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