COVID-19: FG flags off mobile testing vehicles

The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, through its agency the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has flagged off a mobile testing vehicle that can be used to test for the COVID-19.

The vehicle that is said to use nanotechnology as part of its functions will also be used as a mobile hospital to treat other ailments, including assisting pregnant women especially in rural areas of the country.

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu who made this revelation said that the mobile hospital is a game-changer that provides adequate medical care on wheels.

He said that his intention is to ensure that NASRDA in collaboration with other agencies in the ministry, reproduce smaller models to be used in all parts of the country.

Dr. Onu said this on Thursday in Abuja while commissioning the telemedicine project at the headquarters of NASRDA.

He said, “This is a game-changer, this is essentially taking the hospital to the home with the facility we have here, so far, Lagos has been doing very well in terms of managing those who have tested positive, so many have recovered and right now we are seeing signs of community transmission before this time it was those who travelled from outside the country. Although we are not praying for it but should this community transmission continue, we want to make sure that the standard of medical attention that you can get in the rural areas will be the same as you can get even in Lagos.

“With this facility, we will be providing telemedicine we can deliver the same type of medical service. We have directed NASRDA to make sure that working with the Federal Ministry of Health, we can reach every part of the country. Right inside we have facility for Ear and Throat (E and T) to probe your ear, nose, mouth and throat to find out if there is inflammation so this will be very helpful in addition to taking your temperature to determine those that have this horrid disease and this is something that is very important to the Nation and the Ministry of Science and Technology will continue to work day and night until our nation is able to fight and defeat this COVID-19 disease.

“Depending on resources we should be able to deploy this to all parts of the country but you won’t be seeing a bus as big as this, because of nano technology, we are going to be using smaller buses and I have given directives to NASRDA to work with our other agencies so that there will be reversed engineering to redesign the project and produce it ourselves and in the process it will be cheaper.”

Acting Director General NASRDA, Mr Jonathan Angulu said, “We have the immediate, medium and long-term goal this is the immediate, for the medium which will be from the 1st of June to 31st December to produce two miniature buses with equipment installed and the long term we are thinking of having telemedicine buses in the 774 local government areas of the country, we have given our budget to the minister and I believe it has been forwarded to Mr President.”

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