NELLORE: Chittoor district has begun using five mobile swab collection vehicles to undertake rapid random testing for Covid-19. The Intelligent Monitoring Analysis Service Quarantine (iMASQ) vehicles— six-wheeler heavy-duty mini-buses—are stationed at different parts of the district. While two are deployed in areas that border Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, two others are stationed in Tirumala and Tirupati; one bus moves around the district to conduct random testing.
The mobile kiosks allow experts to collect swab samples from inside a glass encasement, thereby greatly reducing the chances of physical exposure to the virus.
“Both nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs are collected and sealed in an ice box before being transferred to the testing facilities at SVR Ruia government general hospital and Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS). People who give their samples can know the result in 48 hours,” said a health official.
In the wake of the spike in Covid cases, the district administration has stopped orthopaedic, medicine and neuro services at SVR Ruia so that the entire hospital infrastructure can focus on Covid-19 patients. Collector Dr Narayana Bharath Gupta had instructed the authorities to shift the infected patients above the age of 60 years to the State Covid hospital (SVIMS), while others will be treated at SVR Ruia.
Meanwhile, eight more infections were reported in Nellore on Sunday, taking the district tally to 557. Around 339 persons have been discharged from hospitals.