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QC doctors test out COVID-19 swab booth

Doctors of the Quezon City General Hospital have been given additional protection against the novel coronavirus with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) swab booth.

According to Saleema Refran's exclusive report on 24 Oras, health workers who are in personal protective gear can enter the clear booth and from their collect samples from patients through bio-chemical gloves.

The negative pressure booth will prevent air, which may be contaminated by coronavirus droplets, from leaving.

The booth, designed similarly to the COVID-19 testing booth in Korea, would be disinfected each time a swab sample is taken.

"Ang swabbing, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab, are both aerosol-generating procedures, so if you do not have the proper equipment and the person who does this is not properly protected almost certain makukuha mo yung infection," said Dr. Mary Bartolome-Juangco, chief ENT resident at the QCGH.

Since last week, Bartolome-Juangco's team has swabbed 20 to 35 patients per day.

"I think it will save a lot of of PPEs nga na nagkukulang ngayon. At saka madaming pasyente, mabilis magagawa 'yung swabbing," she said.

The booths were created by the Department of Science and Technology, USHER technologies, and the Mapua University.

"Maganda ngayon na-test nung ating mga doctors dito so nakuha natin 'yung mga inputs nila and that will further improve 'yung innovation natin," Mapua Civil Engineering Dean Francis Aldrine Uy said.

"We can also put UV lights later on para kapag hindi ginagamit, pwedeng i-on 'yun to further disinfect," he added. — Joahna Lei Casilao/DVM, GMA News