By Dhel Nazario
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has delivered and installed 132 specimen collection booths (SCBs) in 89 Department of Health (DOH) hospitals and healthcare facilities to expedite mass testing in the country.
DOST said that as of May 23, the booths were successfully distributed to nine cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) and 37 provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The fabrication of the SCBs was facilitated since April by Augusto Martinez III and his team at the Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise (FAME) Inc.
“Inspired by the telephone booth-style swab collection facilities in other Asian countries, the SCB is equipped with a transparent front window, ventilation, and caster wheels for easier mobility. For added safety and protection, it also comes with pressure and infrared temperature sensors which can be used for remote monitoring of the patient and separate disinfection agents inside and outside the swab booth,” the agency said.
Each booth contains two holes at the front panel which allows the healthcare worker, in proper PPE, to collect the patient’s samples. The booth will be disinfected for five minutes before receiving the next patient.
Designed to reduce the exposure of frontline health workers to suspected COVID-19 patients, the fabrication and distribution of SCBs were sponsored by DOST-attached agencies such as the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).
The Philippine Coast Guard provided assistance in the delivery of some of the units to Visayas and Mindanao.
The recipients of the SCBs also received instructional materials, videos, and manuals on how to install and use the booths. The design was also made available to the public for free and disseminated through the DOST Regional Offices, in case other entities would like to fabricate their own booths.
The DOST partnered with the Department of Health in setting up the specimen collection booths around the country as part of improving the country’s testing capabilities.
The public can access the design through this link: http://pcieerd.dost.gov.ph/library/fame-design.