Published: 29th April 2020
First in northeast India, Tripura gets a mobile, risk-free COVID-19 sample collection kiosk
Agartala Smart City Limited (ASCL) Chairman Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao said the kiosk was built on an old three-wheeler vehicle at a cost of Rs 85,000 and it can navigate through narrow lanes
In a major step to tame the Coronavirus, a mobile COVID-19 sample collection kiosk has been designed under the Agartala Smart City project and if successful, more such kiosks would be developed, top officials said on Wednesday. The newly designed mobile kiosk, first in the eastern and northeast India, was handed over to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of West Tripura district on Tuesday and it already started a collection of samples of the people.
"The kiosk ensures protection to the sample collecting health worker and prevents wastage of personal protection equipment (PPE). This initiative is a major step by Agartala Smart City project in the fight against COVID-19," Tripura government's Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar Rakesh said.
He said that if the mobile sample collection kiosk achieves the desired goal and if we get good feedback from the ground level health workers, we would replicate this more and deploy them in other districts and subdivisions. "There is no need for patients to come to the hospital for giving a sample. The mobile kiosk can go to the doorstep of the patient or any locality to collect the samples as and when the health authority decides," said Rakesh, who also looks after the Health and Family Welfare Department.
Agartala Smart City Limited (ASCL) Chairman Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao said the kiosk was built on an old three-wheeler vehicle at a cost of Rs 85,000 and it can navigate through narrow lanes and by-lanes of the city to facilitate collection of samples from the community itself. "The kiosk also facilitates mass testing of a larger number of people in a shorter time frame. This initiative was taken by the Municipal Commissioner of Agartala Municipal Corporation Shailesh Kumar Yadav, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ASCL," Dinkarrao said.
West Tripura District's CMO Debasish Das said that as it is a maiden venture, after getting the policy guidelines from the state government we would exploit the mobile sample collection kiosk.
The Additional Chief Secretary further said that Tripura's nCoV sample testing ratio is highest in the country with 1,108 samples being tested in the state per one million population against the national average of 470 per million people.
"To prevent any unlawful entry into India from Bangladesh the 856 km long Indo-Bangla border with Tripura has been sealed. People have been requested to inform the authority if they found any infiltration from across the border," the senior IAS officer said.
Bangladesh and Myanmar are a cause of concern for the authorities in the northeastern region as any illegitimate entry into this region can spread the virus.
According to Bangladesh health authorities, the total number of confirmed cases in that country currently stood around 6,500, while the death toll has increased to 155 with the virus spreading to 61 of the country's 64 districts.