Taking their coronavirus fight one step ahead, Kerala has now installed six walk-in sample kiosks (WISK) developed by the Kalamaserry Medical College in Ernakulam to collect throat swabs of patients and suspects on Monday (April 6).
Inspired by the kiosks in South Korea, the Kerala kiosk has two openings in front along with a hand glove attached to it. The staff can stand inside the kiosk and collect the throat swabs without exposing themselves to the person under observation. The exposed part of the glove will be sanitised after each use.
IMPORTANT INNOVATION. Ernakulam district admin and Govt Medical College, Kalamassery, have launched Walk-In Sample Kiosk (WISK) for quick & cheap sample collection enabling mass screening for #COVID19 . Throat swab can be safely taken here without wearing PPE #Kerala @the_hindu pic.twitter.com/Mt8qjrFqUA
— S Anandan (@Anandans76) April 6, 2020
Samples are usually collected in designated hospitals under a controlled environment and patients and suspected persons are brought in an ambulance.
Ernakulam District Collector S. Suhas said, “WISK helps reduce the consumption of PPE as health workers can safely collect the samples from inside this. This will also be helpful for mass screenings.”
If a large number of people from a particular area have to be screened, a WISK can be easily set up in that locality and it will ensure faster and simple collection of samples, the Collector added.
With a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in India, the demand for PPEs that cost about ₹1,000 each has also gone up and concerns have been raised about its shortage in several places.
The health department adopted the model from South Korea where it has been used widely and the new kiosk hopes to take care of the shortage of PPE concerns.