New Delhi: To fight coronavirus pandemic successfully in the state, Odisha government has rolled out a mobile coronavirus testing van, which will enable health officials to collect samples at the doorstep. In a one-of-a-kind move in Odisha, the first ‘COVID-19 test lab on wheels’ has been started in Gajapati district of the state. Sharing details about the initiative, Anupam Saha, District Magistrate OF Gajapati, Odisha said,
People residing in all 149 Gram Panchayat of Gajapati will be examined for COVID-19 with the help of this mobile van. This is one of the most important steps taken by the authorities and the government to fight coronavirus. The aim is to ramp up testing and collect as many possible samples in one day.
The mobile testing van is modified in a way that health officials can sit behind a glass casing and collect nasal and the throat swabs of the people. Moreover, the van can easily get into lanes and by-lanes of very densely populated areas of the district. The van also ensures that the health officials are not exposed to the people getting tested, by wearing gloves that protrude out of this glass casing of the van.
Furthermore, the van has a provision of disinfectant, drinking water, disposal of clinical waste and a drawer for safe keep of swab samples.
Highlighting other details about the mobile van, Mr Saha added,
The moving lab also follows the social distancing guidelines as it can only accommodate a maximum of three persons inside it at a time, so two health officials and one person at a time for testing.
Moreover, this mobile lab will not only cater to the people of the district but also many migrant workers who are stranded at Andhra Pradesh border. Mr Saha added,
Many people are stranded at Andhra Pradesh borders. The process of bringing them back to the state has been started. We have created 180 medical centres across the district for the COVID-19 patients. This van which we have developed will help examine people for the lethal infection. Locals too would have to go under screening for the coronavirus. They will be informed a few days before about the van timings.
This facility has been developed by Gajapati District Magistrate Anupam Saha with the help of National Health Mission and Indian Council of Medical and Research (ICMR).
Currently, Odisha with a population of more than 4 crores (as per census 2011), till date has managed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus to some extent. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs, the state has reported 538 cases, of which, 3 people have been declared dead and 143 people have recovered, as of May 13.
According to the government data, Odisha has been able to come up with 34 COVID-19 specialised hospitals with 5,493 beds and 296 ICU beds with the adequate facilities to treat the coronavirus patients especially and 15 testing laboratories have been created for sample testing and so far around 81,000 people have been tested in the state. Moreover, the state is India’s first state to have a COVID-19 dedicated hospital in all its 30 districts.