The Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI) provided eight (8) more units of contactless specimen collection booths (SCBs) to healthcare facilities in Western Visayas identified by the Department of Health – Center for Health Development Region VI (DOH-CHD VI).   

The initiative of the DOST VI in the fabrication and deployment of the additional SCBs is in collaboration with the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISATU) Main Campus and Technological University of the Philippines – Visayas (TUP-V).  Also, this is in support of the DOH efforts in conducting mass testing and more importantly one way of preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the region.   

The SCBs are in addition to the first six (6) SCB units from Manila that were deployed last May 2020.  Designed and fabricated by DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) Startup Grant awardee Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise, Inc. (FAME), the SCBs passed initial performance assessment conducted at the Regional Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.  The SCBs are compact, with good ventilation, and has a protective barrier for the healthcare providers and the patients.  The testing will be conducted by seating each patient outside the booth while the medical professional collects their samples by swabbing their nose and throat using arm-length nitrile gloves built into the front window of the booth.

The additional 8 units of SCBs were deployed to West Visayas State University Medical Center in Jaro, Iloilo City; Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital in Jordan, Guimaras; Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital in Roxas City, Capiz; Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique; and Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo Aklan. (SSalazar/DOST VI with reports from JVGubatanga and MCPielago)