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Isolation Ward Need of the hour

COVID-19 isolation wards

India’s novel coroanvirus cases have breached the 10,000-mark. According to the latest Union Health Ministry of Family and Welfare data, the total number of positive Covid-19 cases have increased 10,815, while the death toll rose to 353.

With this the need for isolation rooms or bio-containment rooms at hospitals has increased. The hospitals are required to have enhanced capabilities to simultaneously treat Covid-19 cases and regular patients. The hospitals require knowledge, capability and equipment for the same. Even small hospitals in places like Indore Hospitals need to be prepared so that when someone walks through the door of a small hospital in places like Meerut or Indore, medical personnel there at least have an idea of what to do to keep the facility and staff safe. We spoke to Ajay Gupta, Executive Director, KGD Architecture to understand the need of isolation wards and how hospitals can enhance their capacity to build isolation wards in their existing facilities.

  • What are the things to consider from infrastructure point-of-view for isolation wards?

The need of the hour is to actually create, convert and innovate spaces which can be used as isolation rooms, even a makeshift isolation room is better than nothing. It is important to know how a make shift isolation room can be created even in a room of someone’s house. It’s not a full solution but it hold the full principle of isolation.

courtesy: KGD Architecture
  • We have been hearing of railway hospitals and new hospital set-ups for covid-19 patients. How are these hospitals different from normal hospitals?

All COVID-19 hospitals in trains or even on temporary site or new hospitals are very different from the current operations Government or Private hospitals, there main focus is to create a quarantine spaces/wards to sort the people from being infected and not infected and symptomatic or non -symptomatic, and further create isolation rooms for symptomatic patients which needs critical care.

The Hospitals are not meant for Daily OPD, or Planned admission or to treat, manage or operate for any other kinds of diseases we encounter on a routine basis.

  • What infrastructure is required for a quarantine facility?

Quarantine and Isolation are the two needs for this kind of Infection control management.Quarantine is still easier to create in any infrastructure by just creating a separate space with isolated Air conditioning and ventilation system for that space, with surfaces which have the ability of be cleaned down or are scrub able and don’t have pores to hold down the infection causing virus or bacteria.

Isolation rooms are have a more stringent requirement as even the Air from these rooms should not flow towards the public side hence the room  to be maintained in a negative pressure of about 30 pascals for an average size room, to achieve the room is fully sealed/ gasketed and a minimum of 12 cycles per minute of dedicated fresh air is pushed in the room and vented it through highest level of HEPA filters so no antigens escape the room.

  • How can existing small hospitals convert into isolation facility?

Existing Hospitals can easily be used to have quarantine zones but true isolation rooms is an extensive and expensive approach for conversation purposes.

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