COVID Van Integrated for Screening & Testing Idea & Design by Dr. Sameer Arbat, MD, FCCP :

Introduction :

COVID-19 is the official name of the Corona Virus Disease 2019. The disease is caused by SARSV-COV2 Corona Virus, a novel virus which has not previously been identified in humans. The outbreak has been declared a global pandemic by World Health Organization. There is currently no treatment for the disease and health system around the world are overwhelmed while pharmaceutical companies and research group are racing to develop an effective vaccine. The total cases as on July 03, 2020 is 11,080,563 infections with 526,250 deaths. Maharashtra has tested 187,000 positive cases and 8000 deaths, which is highest in India.


COVI-SAT is the name given to the invention by Dr. Sameer Arbat, a renowned Pulmonologist from Central India who has previously innovated safety devices for protecting health care workers(HCWs) from COVID-19. The “COVI-SAT” or “COVID-Van Integrated with Screening and Testing” is a mobile van which can reach remote areas for conducting community testing. “Many attempts have been made to create mobile sample collection van but most of them are devoid of safety features which can put the HCWs at risk. I have designed this van with a state of the art safety chamber equipped with positive pressure and HEPA filters along with temperature control. I believe this van will be instrumental in increasing the number of samples collected in the community without putting the HCWs at risk of cross infection” comments Dr. Sameer Arbat.

State of the Art Safety Chamber :

The Safety Chamber is temperature controlled positive pressure box with HEPA filter (0.5 micron) made to protect healthcare professional from getting infected by eliminating contact with the patient while performing real time PCR based assay of oropharyngeal and nasal swab of suspected patient. The positive pressure systems prevent any air from entering inside the chamber thus limiting any chances of virus infection. The chamber is equipped with a sample collection window. The window has disposable gloves thus avoiding any contact between the HCWs and suspected person. The window has a tray for testing kit, Ice Box, IR thermometer gun, stethoscope, hand sanitizer and disposal baskets. The chamber is equipped with a public announcement system and printed information for public education and awareness of safety norms. The HCW inside has access to an electronic tablet for entering details of suspected person.

Key Features :

  • The Chamber proposed is Ultra-modern state of art, air tight, temperature controlled, positive pressure with HEPA filters.
  • Integrated features of screening of patient and sample collection & storage.
  • Contactless use of infrared thermometer gun and stethoscope.
  • There will be air handling system with pump and water tank, evaporating cool cell and controlled panel manually operated.

Advantages :

  • Currently all patients with initial screening and having symptoms are brought to ICMR approved hospitals to carry out real time PCR based assays test. 
  • There are huge difficulties in arranging transport which exposes workers and other patients. After the sampling patient is kept in isolation ward duly quarantine for results to come.
  • Hence if patients are screened and sample are collected and sent to hospital at hotspots of pre-identified area will save time and efforts.
  • Pressure of testing Possibility of contamination at hospital will reduce.
  • Transportation for large number of patients will reduce.
  • Many suspected patients are fearing to go to hospital for sample giving. Hence with mobile van more suspect patient will come forward, voluntarily and get tested.
  • Early, safe and timely detection will in the end reduce the mortality rate and save life of innocent people.

Safety Compliances :

  • Indian Council of Medical Research Department of health research has issued advisory for sample collection at site which needs to be compiled.
  • The sample collection should be done using the recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • The site should be disinfected regularly as per recommended procedure.
  • All recommendation of biosafety and biosecurity precautions should be implemented.
  • Sample transport to nearest COVID-19 testing laboratory should be ensured under proper cold chain conditions and with triple layer packing.