As COVID-19 cases surged in different parts of the country, infrastructure in hospitals was under immense pressure. Innovative modular hospitals came as a huge relief amidst this. Modular hospitals are an extension of hospital infrastructure and can be built adjacent to an existing hospital building.
Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India (O/o PSA, GoI)invited private sector companies, donor organizations, and individuals to support various projects of national importance. Project Extension Hospitals is one such initiative. The O/o PSA identified requirements of close to 50 hospitals in states where the highest number of COVID-19 cases were reported.
Modulus Housing, a start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) developed the MediCAB hospitals. This enables building a 100-bedded extension facility in 3-weeks’ time. MediCAB hospitals are designed with a dedicated zone of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) that can accommodate various life-support equipment and medical devices. These negative pressure portable hospitals have a durability of around 25 years, and they can also be shifted in the future for any disaster response in less than a week.
These rapidly deployable hospitals will plug a major health infrastructure gap in India’s fight against COVID-19, especially in rural areas and smaller towns. The O/o PSA has been actively working towards securing CSR support to implement these projects in different areas across the nation.
Modulus Housing has started deploying MediCAB extension hospitals with the help of the American Indian Foundation (AIF). Mastercard, Texas Instruments, Zscaler, PNB Housing, Goldman Sachs, Lenovo, and NASSCOM Foundation have also extended CSR support. The first batch of 100 bedded hospitals is being commissioned at Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh); Amravati, Pune, and Jalna (Maharastra); Mohali (Punjab), and a 20-bed hospital at Raipur (Chhattisgarh). Bengaluru (Karnataka) will have one each of 20-, 50-, and 100-beds in the first phase.
The Office of PSA has also collaborated with Tata Projects Ltd to deploy modular hospitals at multiple sites in Punjab and Chhattisgarh. They have initiated work on 48 bedded modular hospitals in Gurdaspur and Faridkot (Punjab). Expansion of ICU at multiple hospitals in Chhattisgarh including Raipur, Jashpur, Bemetara, Kanker, and Gaurella are also underway.