Collection of samples and managing related tasks in COVID testing is a challenging task. The SafeCollect project has two components – a modified vehicle to protect medical personnel, and a practical and safe storage system for the samples collected. The samples need to be stored in low temperatures until they are taken to the nearest testing centre, which can be far away in the developing world.
The modified vehicle features modifications to make sure that outside air enters the cabin space only through the powered air filter. Personnel can collect samples through a special opening featuring safety gloves. There is a specially made box in the vehicle which contains all the necessary tools used by personnel, including a digital stethoscope. At the same time there is a specially made cavity for this box that segregates it from the cabin in an airtight manner.
The storage container is an aluminum box that contains cavities for the sample vials. The space between the cavities is filled with water containing additives to lower the freezing point. The entire box is cooled in a deep freezer before sample collection, put inside a specially made icebox, and then sample collection starts. Once the samples are collected, the box is taken to the testing center. Each sample has a separate, secure cavity.