Five hospitals in Western Visayas are recipients of no-contact specimen collection booths (SCBs) developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).
Its feature is to avoid direct contact between the health personnel who will collect samples and prospective patients, said DOST regional director for Western Visayas Rowen Gelonga, in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday.
The DOST at the national level has allocated PHP20 million for the manufacture, distribution, and installation of the booths.
The mass production of the SCBs is DOST’s support to the efforts of the Department of Health in the conduct of mass testing.
Gelonga said that they are opening the design to firms interested to fabricate the booth.
Two booths will be deployed to the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Iloilo City and one each for the Western Visayas Sanitarium and the Don Jose Monfort Medical Center Extension Hospital, all in Iloilo province on Tuesday.
Meantime, one booth was already delivered to Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City in Negros Occidental on May 9, 2020, while the booth intended for the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City was delivered on Monday.
“For DOST 6 we would like to add around six additional units to be funded by the regional office. We will be partnering with Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) and Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) in the Visayas. We particularly intend to deploy at least one unit to the provinces,” Gelonga said.
While the distribution will depend on the fabrication, he said they target to start deploying more units a week after they complete giving out the existing booths.
The specimen collector will be inside the booth while the prospective patient will stay outside. It is an air-conditioned booth with proper ventilation, he said.
The booth maintains a positive pressure inside that comes from the ventilator with a filter to prevent outside contamination from coming in.
“It is an additional layer of protection for our health workers,” he added. (PNA)