A three-wheeler heavy-duty auto rickshaw has been converted into a COVID-19 sample collection kiosk in Tripura Credit: Facebook

Agartala: Tripura got its first mobile COVID-19 sample collection kiosk in the region to collect random swab samples from people without any physical contact. A three-wheeler heavy-duty auto rickshaw has been converted into a COVID-19 sample collection kiosk.

Speaking with reporters, Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) commissioner Dr Shailesh Kumar Yadav said that the vehicle will ease the work of health staff as one can collect the swab samples without physical contact with patients.

“The glass encasement will ease the requirement of wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) while collecting swab samples from people. The vehicle was designed and provided by AMC Smart City Project,” Yadav said.

Similar glass encasement is placed in Kerala in front of hospitals to collect samples from people. “Tripura does not have any more COVID-19 patients in hospital and the state is now under a green zone. Therefore, the vehicle can move across the region and collect random samples for test,” Yadav said.

West Tripura district health surveillance officer Dr Sangeeta Chakraborty said that a total of five swab samples were collected on Monday by the mobile testing unit. “The samples of five medical workers including doctors and paramedical staff who treated the COVID-19 patient were collected on the first day,” she said.

The chief minister took to his Facebook account and wrote, “Agartala Smart City has designed a mobile van for COVID-19 sample collection and handed it over to West Tripura chief medical officer (CMO). It will ensure the safety of health workers in collecting samples and prevents wastage of PPEs. This three-wheeler van can move easily even in narrow lanes and easily collect samples from across community.”

He also said that now patients would not need to go to hospitals to provide samples and it will also help in testing a large number of samples in a short period of time.

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