Coronavirus pandemic has spread across the world and even India is heavily affected by the spread of the virus. The authorities are coming up with new ideas to contain the spread of coronavirus but one of the major challenges that they face is to detect the virus without infecting the health workers. Kerala earlier came up with a cubicle model that isolated the health workers in a small space safely while taking samples from the patients. Now, the state has come with “Tiranga” cars based on the Toyota Innova MPV that are used to screen the coronavirus patients from the safety of the car.
The Tiranga initiative is launched by Pathanamthitta district administration of the state to rapid screening of the infected people. The modified Innova can hold up to three health workers who can drive around and look for infected people. The person standing outside cannot see the officials and they do not come out of the vehicle either. Instead, the officials use a public announcement system to talk to the people.
The officials go to the containment zones and ask for identification documents of the people. They also ask for their travel history and fever symptoms. All these documents are then photographed to keep a record. The vehicle is equipped with an infrared thermometer that can check the temperature of the person too. Apart from the thermal screen system, the car also has a two-way microphone system that can be used by the officials to communicate properly with the people. All this is done without the official getting out of the vehicle at all.
This is the first of its kind vehicle in India it is currently working on a trial basis. The vehicle goes into containment zones and buffer zones to look for people with symptoms. A containment zone covers up to three kilometres while the buffer zone is the next five kilometres of a containment zone. The screening vehicles also reaching the camps for migrant workers and destitute people and checking their body temperatures.
For anyone who is found with the symptoms of the coronavirus and has a high temperature, the team notes their details and ask them to be in isolation of the next 14 days. The same advice is given to the people who have travelled outside of Kerala in the last 45 days. The details of the people found with symptoms are given to the nearest Primary Health Centre (PHC). The PHC then becomes responsible to do the follow-ups and check such people.
The Innova is called RSV-1 which stands for Rapid Screen Vehicle – 1. The authorities are also working on RSV-2 vehicles and these vehicles will collect samples once they find the people with symptoms. The RSV-2 vehicles are still under development.
The new program is with the support of the district collector PB Nooh, who managed the funds from the State Disaster Management Fund for the vehicles.