The development of GAMA Swab sampling chamber for walk-through sampling in patients with COVID-19 at Gadjah Mada Hospital

Hera Nirwati(1*), Dwi Aris Agung Nugrahaningsih(2), Siswanto Siswanto(3), Mahatma Sotya Bawono(4), Titien Budhiaty(5), Setyawan Bekti Wibowo(6), Raden Sumiharto(7)

(1) Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(2) Department of Pharmacology and Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(3) Universitas Gadjah Mada Academic Hospital, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(4) Universitas Gadjah Mada Academic Hospital, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(5) 3Universitas Gadjah Mada Academic Hospital, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(6) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vocational School, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(7) Department of Computer Science and Electronics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(*) Corresponding Author


Collecting swab samples from the nasopharynx and oropharynx of patients with COVID-19 is essential in detecting SARS-CoV-2. This procedure potentially produces sufficient droplets. Since SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through droplets, swab sampling has to be done carefully to prevent the risk of transmission to healthcare workers or the cross-contamination to the environment. The GAMA Swab Sampling Chamber (GSSC) is a positive-pressure chamber designed for collecting swab samples involving the healthcare worker positioned inside, while the patient is outside the chamber. The chamber is designed to minimize the risk of aerosol exposure to the healthcare worker due to leakage or when opening or closing the door. Accordingly, the healthcare worker does not need to use complete personal protective equipment (PPE) as they do when collecting swab samples without the chamber. After several tests to check the safety and the chamber’s function, the GSSC was used at Gadjah Mada Hospital. This chamber had been used to swab 51 asymptomatic patients, 72 suspected patients, and 284 voluntary persons for ten weeks. The results of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) examination of all samples from asymptomatic patients were negative, while 2 of 72 suspected patients (2.8%) and 4 of 284 voluntary persons (1.4%) had positive RT-PCR results. The use of GSSC can simplify the swab sampling, also reduces the need for PPE usage and a negative pressure isolation room which are limited in the current pandemic situation.


chamber testing; COVID-19; swab sampling; walk-through

Full Text:



  1. World Health Organization. WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020 [Internet]. WHO Director General’s speeches. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 11]. p. 4. Available from:
  2. Worldometer. Coronavirus Cases [Internet]. Worldometer. 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 2]. Available from:
  3. Kementerian Kesehatan. Infeksi Emerging [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 2]. Available from:
  4. Wang D, Hu B, Hu C, Zhu F, Liu X, Zhang J, et al. Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients with 2019 Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. J Am Med Assoc. 2020;323(11):1061–9.
  5. High efficiency air filters (EPA, HEPA and ULPA) Part 1: Classification, performance testing, marking. British Standard. 2009. 1–24 p.
  6. Lee J. COVID-19 screening center: how to balance between the speed and safety?. J Korean Med Sci. 2020;35(15).
  7. Choi S, Han C, Lee J, Kim S Il, Kim IB. Innovative screening tests for covid-19 in south korea. Clin Exp Emerg Med. 2020;7(2):73–7.
  8. Kwon KT, Ko JH, Shin H, Sung M, Kim JY. Drive-through screening center for covid-19: A safe and efficient screening system against massive community outbreak. J Korean Med Sci 2020;35(11).
  9. Lee D, Lee J. Testing on the move: South Korea’s rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives. 2020;5.
  10. Weiss EA, Ngo J, Gilbert GH, Quinn J V. Drive-Through Medicine: A Novel Proposal for Rapid Evaluation of Patients During an Influenza Pandemic. Ann Emerg Med. 2010;55(3):268–73.
  11. Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, Steinmann E. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2020;104(3):246–51.
  12. Goyal SM, Chander Y, Yezli S, Otter JA. Evaluating the virucidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide vapour. J Hosp Infect. 2014;86(4):255–9.
  13. Kowalski W. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation handbook: UVGI for air and surface disinfection. Springer. 2009. 1–501 p.
  14. Pozo-Antonio JS, Sanmartín P. Exposure to artificial daylight or UV irradiation (A, B or C) prior to chemical cleaning: an effective combination for removing phototrophs from granite. Biofouling. 2018;34(8):851–69.
  15. Tseng CC, Li CS. Inactivation of virus-containing aerosols by ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. Aerosol Sci Tech. 2005;39(12):1136–42.
  16. Welch D, Buonanno M, Grilj V, Shuryak I, Crickmore C, Bigelow AW, et al. Far-UVC light: A new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1).


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1755 | views : 1829


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of Community Empowerment for Health

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.