The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) though its regional office in Region III have started the delivery of specimen collection booths or SCBs to selected hospitals to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

               Dr.Julius Caesar V. Sicat, DOST regional director said that nine units of the SCBs will be given to six hospitals in Region 3, including the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH). “The Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital and the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center in Balanga City, Bataan and the  Paulino J.Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City have already received the SCBs. The MMWGH received one unit while the BGHMC  and PJGMRMC received two units each. They will be used to boost the mass testing capacity of the DOH so we can fast track the identification of infected residents so we can slow down the further transmission of the Covid-19 disease,” Dr. Sicat added.

               The SCBs were fabricated and designed by a DOST Startup Grant awardee Futuristic Aviation and  Maritime Enterprises or FAME in collaboration with two other DOST agencies, namely, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development.

               The SCBs will provide zero-contact between the medical personnel doing the collection and the patient providing the specimen sample. Before their mass distribution, the SCBs underwent initial performance assessment at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM), Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Lung Center of the Philippines, and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital to make sure they comply with safety protocols on sample collection. 

               According to DOST-PCIEERD, the SCBs are compact, with good ventilation, easy to mobilize, can remotely monitor the patient’s temperature and is a good protective barrier between the frontliner and the suspected COVID-19 patient. It has window-mounted nitrile gloves that are disinfected for five minutes after every patient to protect them from others getting tested.

 

Dr. Sicat said that aside from these three hospitals, two other  DOH-retained hospitals will also get the SCBs, namely,Talavera General Hospital in Nueva Ecija, and the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, including the DOH regional office located at the regional government center, both in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. ”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,” Dr. Sicat intoned as he also enjoined the citizenry to do their part by following quarantine protocols enforced by authorities.

Installation of 1 unit SCB at Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital (Photos 1-2) and 2 units at Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center (Photos 3-4)

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