DOST provides specimen collection booths to hospitals in Central Luzon

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Department of Science and Technology (DOST) provided specimen collection booths (SCBs) to hospitals in Central Luzon to help fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital and Talavera General Hospital already received one unit each, while Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center and Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center received two units each.

“The SCBs will be used to boost the mass testing capacity of Department of Health (DOH) so we can fast-track the identification of infected residents and slow down the further transmission of COVID-19,” DOST Regional Director Julius Caesar Sicat said.

The booths were fabricated and designed by a DOST Startup Grant awardee Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprises in collaboration with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development and Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development.

Sicat assured that the booths will provide zero-contact between the medical personnel doing the collection and the patient providing the specimen sample.

“Before their mass distribution, SCBs underwent initial performance assessment at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital to make sure they comply with safety protocols on sample collection,” the official explained.

SCBs are compact with good ventilation, easy to mobilize, can remotely monitor the patient’s temperature and is a good protective barrier between the healthcare worker and the suspected COVID-19 patient. 

Moreover, the window-mounted nitrile gloves attached in the booth should be disinfected for five minutes after every patient.

Aside from the four hospitals, Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital and the DOH Regional Office will also receive the booths.

“The war against COVID-19 is far from over but we, at the DOST, are committed to work with other government agencies and private partners to help win this battle,” Sicat stressed. 

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