DRDO develops safe COVID Sample Collection Kiosk

Panchanan Mishra

Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO, has added another weapon in its arsenal in the fight against COVID-19.

Its Defence Research & Development Laboratory, DRDL, Hyderabad developed the COVID Sample Collection Kiosk or COVSACK, a safety device for healthcare workers who take test samples from patients. A patient walks into the COVSACK where a health care professional takes a nasal or oral swab from outside with built in gloves.

The DRDL developed the unit in consultation with the doctors of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, ESIC, Hyderabad.

The kiosk is automatically disinfected without the need for any human agency, making the process safe against infection.

The shielding screen of kiosk cabin protects the health care workers from the aerosols or droplet transmission as they take samples. This reduces the need for a change in Personal Protective Equipment for the health care workers.

After the patient leaves the kiosk, four nozzle sprayers mounted in the cabin disinfect the empty chamber by spraying disinfectant mist for 70 seconds.

It is further flushed with water and disinfected with UV light. The system is ready for its next use in less than two minutes.

Voice commands can be given through a two-way communication system integrated with the COVSACK. The COVSACK can be configured either from inside or outside as required by medical professionals.

The COVSACK costs nearly Rs 1 lakh. The manufacturing plant based in Belgaum, Karnataka can turn out 10 units per day.

The DRDO designed and developed two such units and handed over these to ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad after successful testing.