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Logistics of Temporary Testing Centers for Coronavirus Disease

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posted on 2023-09-01, 15:02 authored by Irmak Ozdemir, Cagla Dursunoglu, Bahar Kara, Manoj Dora
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused the death of millions of people, and PCR testing is widely used as the gold standard method to detect the infections to restrict the outbreak. Through the interviews conducted with people from the field in South Korea, the UK, and Turkey, we have found that there are numerous testing strategies worldwide. Those testing strategies include drive-through and home delivery testing capabilities, local test sites, and mobile test centers. Our primary motivation is to propose a generic model based on the best practices in the UK and South Korea. Also, we aim to present a case study on Turkey for the implementation of vital procedures and increase their availability. This paper represents a study on how to construct a temporary testing logistics system during the initial phases of pandemics to increase the availability of PCR testing with the primary objective of maximizing total sample collection. The design also considers minimizing the maximum walking distance to increase the convenience of sample collection for the people living in the neighborhoods. The proposed system consists of temporary testing centers and a central laboratory. Temporary testing centers perform direct tours to the potential areas to collect samples and bring the collected sample to the designated central laboratories located at central hospitals. Moreover, to represent the non-linear inheritance of the pandemic progress within a population, we consider diminishing sample potentials over time and coverage. This new problem is defined as an extension of the Selective Vehicle Routing Problem and Covering Tour Problem. We propose a mathematical model and four two-stage math-heuristic algorithms to determine the location and routing of the temporary testing centers and their lengths of stay at each visited location. The performances of the proposed solution methodologies are tested on two data sets. The first set is constructed by the confirmed cases of the districts of Seoul, Korea, and by the interview of health personnel of H+ Yangji Hospital COVID-19 semi-mobile booth application, and the second set is constructed by 99 hospital/health centers from distinct neighborhoods of 22 districts of Istanbul, Turkey. The Pareto set of optimum solutions is generated based on total sample collection and maximum walking distance. Finally, sensitivity analyses on some design parameters are conducted.



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Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies





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