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Coronavirus Outbreak: Tripura Sets Up Mobile Van For COVID-19 Testing

Inspired by the Kerala model of testing, Agartala Municipal Corporation has decided to enhance random testing in the community for COVID-19 with the help of a testing van that can easily ply on narrow lanes and facilitate easy sample collection

Coronavirus Outbreak: Tripura Sets Up Mobile Van For COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19 testing van is the first-of-its-kind in the north eastern region
  • CM of Tripura said it will facilitate easy sample collection from community
  • It will cut down on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) wastage: CM Deb

Agartala: Taking a cue from Kerala, the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) Smart City Project has built a mobile COVID-19 testing van in which swab samples are collected by medical experts from inside a glass encasement minimising their risk of exposure to novel coronavirus. This kind of testing van is the first-of-its-kind in the northeastern region, a top AMC official said. The three-wheeler van can negotiate through narrow lanes and facilitate easy sample collection from the entire community, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said.

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It will also cut down on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) wastage, the chief minister said. AMC Commissioner Dr Sailesh Kumar Yadav said, with no COVID-19 patient in any Tripura hospital anymore, and the state now placed under green zone, kiosks are placed on vans to serve as COVID-19 testing vehicles for carrying out rapid random community testing. The AMC commissioner said,

We have made the device seeing the Kerala model of testing where stationary testing kiosks are placed in front of hospitals. We can now undertake rapid random community testing by using these vans. Medical experts can collect swab samples of people from inside a glass encasement, so there is no chance of having any physical contact.

Mr. Yadav, who is also the head of the Smart City Project, said that the device is expected to reduce the necessity of using new PPE every time samples are collected during random testing. Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of West Tripura district Debasish Das said that the mobile testing van is being used in Maharajganj Bazaar and other prominent markets of the capital city to collect samples from people who are found to have high temperature during thermal scanner checking on them. Mr. Das said,

If anyone is found to have high temperature, then his swab samples are collected and sent to the GB Pant hospital for testing. Gradually this kind of vans would be sent to other towns of the state.

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West Tripura district health surveillance officer Dr. Sangeeta Chakraborty said, the mobile testing unit had first collected swabs from doctors and paramedics under quarantine, who had earlier treated COVID-19 patients in the hospital. The chief minister took to Facebook and wrote,

“Agartala Smart City project has designed a mobile van forCOVID-19 sample collection and handed it over to West Tripura Chief Medical Officer. It ensures the safety of doctors during the collection of samples and prevents wastage of PPE. This three-wheeler van can easily ply narrow lanes and facilitate easy sample collection from the entire community. ”

Now patients wouldn’t need to go to hospitals to provide samples. Besides, it will help in testing a large number of tests in a short period of time, he added.

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