By Erwin Beleo
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 1 has provided seven units of Specimen Collection Booth (SCB) for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to four medical centers in the region on Thursday, May 7.
The SCB units were given to Medical Center in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Ilocos Training and Medical Center in San Fernando City, La Union, and Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, and to the Department of Health Region 1 Center for Health and Development in La Union.
The booths were designed and made by Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise, Inc. (FAME), a DOST-PCIEERD Start-up Grant-awardee, and has passed initial performance assessment from the Regional Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital. The design was based on testing booths used in other Asian countries.
Each SCB is provided with proper ventilation and a protective barrier, as well as seats, ensuring safety and comfort for both front-liner and suspected COVID-19 patient. Its window has nitrile gloves that are constantly disinfected after every use. Disposable gloves can also be worn before wearing the SCB’s gloves.
The booth has a pressure sensor that will alert the front-liner if the door was not properly closed or if there is air from the outside coming in. It also has a thermal scanner that will record the temperature of the patient.
The test will be administered by swabbing the patient’s nose and throat. The sample will then be given to accredited laboratories for diagnosis.
Aside from the DOST, partners and combined efforts of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), and Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) committed to elevate the Filipino’s quality of life through science and technology in meeting the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.