COLLECTION BOOTH. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) eyes distributing 132 units of specimen collection booths (SCBs) across the country before the end of April. Fabricators who would like to help in producing additional units may reach out to the DOST for a copy of the SCB design. (Photo courtesy of DOST

MANILA – A total of PHP19.7 million was allotted for the production of 132 specimen collection booths (SCB) to be delivered to various hospitals across the country and select Department of Health (DOH) Center for Health Development offices, an official of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) said Monday.
 
In an online interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), PCIEERD executive director Enrico Paringit said the funding for the production of 132 units came from the DOST and that the agency targets to distribute the SCBs before the end of April.
 
"Since Friday, we have four units distributed to the RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine), PGH (Philippine General Hospital), Lung Center, and JRNMH (Jose N. Rodriguez National Memorial Hospital) to study whether these prototypes follow the safety protocols of doctors with regard to getting specimen for Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). Testing these four prototypes will end on April 20, then we will start on distributing the SCBs to other hospitals listed by the DOH," he said.
 
The DOH has tapped the DOST for the production of the SCBs.
 
According to Paringit, the design of the local SCB was based on the designs of testing booths in other countries.
 
With the DOST's design, both the medical personnel and the patient would be seated.
 
The design was modified to ensure the safety of both the medical personnel and the patient, he added.
 
The booth has an ample ventilation and air-conditioner so that the medical personnel would be comfortable.
 
It has a pressure sensor that would alert the medical personnel in case the door was not properly closed, or if there is air from the outside is coming in.
 
There are disposable gloves that could be worn on the SCB's main gloves. Disinfection sprays are available in the seats.
 
Further, the SCB has a thermal scanner to record the temperature readings of the patients.
 
The thermal scanner, Paringit said, was developed by the Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise (FAME), DOST's partner in developing the SCBs.
 
"The SCB's design will be provided by FAME for free to fabricators who would like to help producing SCBs for other areas where needed," Paringit said.
 
Anyone interested with the SCB's design may coordinate with the DOST, he added. (PNA