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India’s first Covid-19 test bus launches in Maharashtra

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 04, 2020

With the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic throwing up challenges everyday, India’s first test bus for the disease was flagged off on Maharashtra Day.

The bus is an initiative by the C19 Taskforce of IIT Alumni Council, in support with the Health Department of MCGM, Dr Muffazal Lakadawala (Chief Medical Officer and Mission Director at NSCI) and Krsnaa Diagnostics.

Covid-19 test bus facilitates access to affordable and rapid testing to people in dense urban areas whilst isolating doctors and also do large scale testing during the monsoons, according to a statement issued by IIT Alumni Council.

In a country of 1.3 billion people, a pandemic such as this necessitates solutions that are affordable, accurate as well as scalable to millions. In the absence of any proven treatment, there is a desperate need for increased levels of testing, particularly in clusters or containment zones.

“The IIT Alumni Council has taken a pro-active approach to supporting the Government’s efforts in fighting the Covid-19 challenge. We have acted swiftly and set up the IIT C19 Task Force to channelise the energies of the global IIT Alumni for this fight,” Ravi Sharma, President, IIT Alumni Council, said.

“The Covid-19 Test Bus is based on indigenous technology and to the best of our knowledge, is the first vehicle of its kind in the world with onboard genetic testing, AI-based teleradiology and contactless sample collection. We chose Mumbai as the launch location given the relatively high number of cases in the city,” he added.

The IIT C19 Test Bus is based on the indigenous Kodoy Technology Stack and executed by partner organisations led by IIT alumni. The Kodoy architecture involves e-vehicles for sample selection and telemedicine, algorithm-based pooled genetic testing and indigenous megalabs capable of upto 5 million tests per month per lab.

Details about the bus

The medical equipment on board comprises a low dosage digital Xray, real time teleradiology, contactless swab collection and instant RNA testing. The bus has been configured keeping for heavy rains and has 384 sqft of lab space onboard.

It also has a wireless robotic tele-operated ultrasound lung probe as and nanopore gene sequencer.

Published on May 04, 2020

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