The National Health Laboratory Service, in partnership with the National Department of Health, has rolled out mobile testing units throughout the country in the fight against the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Floyd Olsen, a project manager at the NHLS, says the 67 mobile units comprise two types of vehicles: one used for screening patients and swabbing for COVID-19 specimens; and another for screening, swabbing and testing.

“The plan is to ensure we can go into communities, into hard to reach communities. We’ve already been to a few clinics where they separate Coronavirus symptomatic patients from normal patients and we place the vehicle outside and we have our dedicated team that goes and swabs and screens all the patients,” Olsen said.

Every mobile unit has a dedicated team comprising a driver and two nurses. One nurse is responsible for recording the patient’s details, medical history and recent contacts for tracing while the other collects clinical samples via swabs for testing.

The units are also fitted with a fridge to house the samples, generators and a back up battery.

“The vehicle will continue screening for the day and take samples through at the end of the day for testing; or we also have courier systems which constantly pick up samples from the vehicle while the vehicle is stationed,” Olsen said.

The patient is expected to fill in three forms: a questionnaire; a contact list; and a laboratory form. This is done before the samples are collected via swabs.