Converting marriage halls into COVID-19 isolation wards in India

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New Delhi–¬†With marriage halls out of use during the nationwide lockdown and social distancing norms in play, a team of researchers have developed a module for conversion of marriage halls into ICU equivalent centres.

These converted marriage halls can accommodate around 100 beds depending upon the size and infrastructure available in the hall. A team consisting of Professor L.S. Shashidhara, Dean of Research at Ashoka University, C.S. Raghuram, Advisor to the Indian government, in collaboration with Professor Andrew Woods, BP Institute and Professor Alan Short, Department of Architecture at the Cambridge University, have worked together on a module for conversion of marriage halls into ICU equivalent centres. Through this module, wedding halls can be quickly converted into containment zones.

“These wards are for ICU-stage patients, where the viral load would be maximum. Our design is to quickly convert any large open hall located in isolated open space as special wards for Covid-19 patients,” Shashidhara told IANS. According to Shashidhara the cost of converting marriage halls into special wards for COVID-19 patients will vary from Rs 1 crore to 2 crore for a 100-bed ward depending on what infrastructure the building already has.

The module involves rapid interior remodelling of halls to pipe in filtered air and evacuate corrupted air from the patient’s bed to reduce airborne pathogens. Such a facility would have airlock lobbies and chimneys to cut down flow of pathogens.

“While we hope that India wouldn’t need more ICU beds, we request the government and philanthropists to think of this design and free up the existing hospitals for non-Covid-19 healthcare,” Shashidhara said.

With 3,561 new cases and 89 deaths, the total tally of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus crossed the 50,000-mark in India on Thursday, said the Union Health Ministry. Of the total cases, 35,902 are active while 15,266 people have recovered, and 1,783 have succumbed to the disease. (IANS)

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