Kochi: As part of expediting Covid-19 testing in Kerala, the Ernakulam government medical college has developed Walk-in sample kiosks (WISK), the first of its kind in the country.
The facility will help in easy and safe collection of samples. It takes less than two minutes to collect the blood and swab samples in the kiosk, which looks like a cabin.
The disinfected kiosks have facilities like magnetic doors, exhaust fans and ultraviolet lights. People inside the cabin can collect the swab samples using the gloves affixed on the kiosk. The patient or persons with suspected infection will sit in a chair outside the chamber.
The technology was initially introduced by South Korea and turned out to be successful there.
The kiosks will help in easing the complexities with regard to sample collection and testing.
The suspected person need not visit the hospital as the kiosk can be set up anywhere and hundreds of samples can be collected in a short time.
The requirement for personal protective equipment (PPE) will also reduce drastically as the person collecting samples in the WISK does not need to wear PPE.
In hospitals, the staff who collects swab samples should wear the PPE which cannot be reused.
Since PPE kits are very expensive, the health authorities are finding it difficult to procure it.
In the case of community spread or a sharp increase in the number of cases, sample collection will be the major challenge for the health department. These kiosks will help in effectively addressing the challenge. Each kiosk will cost only Rs.40,000.
The two WISKS have been handed over to the district administration which will be installed at the Ernakulam medical college.
District medical officer Dr N K Kuttappan said that more organisations and individuals have come forward offering assistance in setting up WISKS in other parts of the district.
WISK was designed as per the instruction of the health department and the district administration by a team led by Ernakulam Medical college RMO Dr Ganesh Mohan.