DRDL Hyderabad develops a kiosk for COVID-19 sample collection

DRDO develops and hands over two units of Kiosk to ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad

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DRDL
Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad develops a Covid-19 Sample Collection Kiosk (COVSACK). Photo - DRDO

Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, has added another product to the portfolio of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to combat Coronavirus (COVID-19) by developing COVID Sample Collection Kiosk (COVSACK).

DRDL has developed the unit in consultation with the doctors of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Hyderabad. The COVSACK is a kiosk for use by healthcare workers for taking COVID-19 samples from suspected infected patients. The patient under test walks into the Kiosk and health care professional takes a nasal or oral swab from outside through the built-in gloves.

The Kiosk is automatically disinfected without the need for human involvement, making the process free of infection spread. The shielding screen of kiosk cabin protects the health care worker from the aerosols or transmission while taking the sample. This reduces the requirements of PPE change by health care workers.

After the patient leaves the Kiosk, four nozzle sprayers mounted in the kiosk cabin disinfect the empty chamber by spraying disinfectant mist for 70 seconds. It is further flushed with water and UV light disinfection. The system is ready for the next use in less than two minutes. Voice command can be given through the two-way communication system integrated with the COVSACK. It is possible to configure COVSACK to be used either from inside or outside as required by the medical professionals.

The COVSACK costs nearly Rs one lakh and the identified industry based at Belgaum, Karnataka, can support ten units each day. The DRDO has designed and developed two units and handed over these to ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad, after successful testing.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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