Shipping containers: Taking New avatars To Tackle The Global Health Crisis
Thanks to the Covid19 pandemic, roughly 11 million shipping containers are lying unused in container yards worldwide. In addition, more containers are being taken off service every day as the shipping industry faces unpredictable fluctuations with sluggish global trade. But there’s good news too! Despite the bad impact, the Covid19 crisis has greatly influenced these idling shipping containers to aid the healthcare industry.
Using shipping containers to tackle the surging demand for healthcare spaces is an innovative idea born out of necessity. So versatile is the shipping container that it takes little to transform it into a temporary healthcare alternative. With hospitals struggling to deal with the non-stop influx of patients, containers can provide valuable additional space to save lives.
5 Innovative Shipping Containers Conversions For Medical Purposes
Container modification companies in UAE and all across the globe have been working round the clock to convert shipping containers into healthcare utilisation spaces. Here are five unique ways the humble shipping container is serving its purpose in the pandemic:
1. Mobile triage units
The mobile triage unit is a concept created in response to the Covid19 pandemic. It is a stand-alone facility designed to function as a portable infectious diseases treatment wing. Many shipping containers are now converted to mobile triage units. These triage units are stable and structurally sound enough to be transported to other places in dire need of emergency care. Each triage unit can accommodate a nursing unit and around ten patients.
2. Portable testing laboratories
As Covid numbers surge in many countries, so does the need for testing. With laboratories looking to expand and improve their testing facilities, shipping containers seem to be a perfect choice for the requirement. Containers have already been used as labs for many years. Hence, it is easy to convert them into portable units for rapid testing. But that’s not all. Portable container labs can:
- Conveniently accommodate a 6-member medical team
- Be transported to remote places
- Be used to test up to 2000 patients a day
- Carry all the necessary testing equipment
- Facilitate both specimen collection and lab testing
- Have enough waiting space for people
As countries witness one pandemic wave after the other with new variants of the virus, portable container labs prove to be a great solution for companies and institutions involved in testing.
3. ICU units
Never before have hospital ICUs faced the relentless need for space, equipment, and beds to accommodate patients. The scene has been the same in hospitals worldwide. Here again, shipping containers have come to the rescue, thanks to their adaptability and versatility. Container modification companies are swamped with demands for shipping container ICU units that serve as temporary critical care environments.
Apart from being easy to modify and transport, shipping containers enable bio containment and the negative pressure environment required for an ICU. A shipping container ICU environment has the following interesting features:
- Adequate space to treat two critically ill patients.
- Inflatable corridor for hospital staff to remove their safety gear.
- Glass windows for relatives to see their loved ones without risking infection.
4. Visiting pods
Covid19 has brutally affected the well-being of residents in long-term care homes and nursing homes. Visitors have been barred to mitigate the risk of infection, and it has not been easy for anyone. But, thankfully, an idea has been devised to repurpose shipping containers into safe “visiting pods”.
Installed within the premises of the long-term care homes, these visiting pods sport state-of-the-art features. Each pod is fitted with UVC lighting to disinfect the place after every meeting. In addition, to ensure the air inside the pods is not stale or infected, the pods are fitted with vents to draw fresh air from the facility premises. These visitation pods are also used in hospital parking lots to screen visitors and hospital staff.
5. Hospital storage purposes
Storage is one of the primary purposes of shipping containers. Hence, it is no surprise that they are used as secure locations to hold hospital equipment, especially PPE kits. These containers can also be transported and installed right within the hospital premises to facilitate easy access to PPE kits. They can be stacked in units to provide additional storage space. With everything safely locked behind sturdy steel doors, there is no question of theft.
Shipping Containers As Educational Pods: The Next Big Transformation
From hospitals to long-term care homes to schools, the mighty shipping container proves its adaptability in these incredibly hard times. As schools start reopening, they are faced with one big challenge- a safe space for social distancing. Unlike the pre-Covid days, schools cannot pack children into one classroom. Teachers and students need a safer learning environment.
Portable storage containers are being converted into safe classrooms. Fitted with hi-tech HEPA and HVAC filters and large windows, the containers are repurposed to provide clean and filtered ventilation. These ‘classrooms’ are also equipped with sanitiser stations and overhead UV lights for additional safety.
These new “educational pods” have been a resounding success, with more schools and educational facilities preferring this option. These safe spaces also serve as temporary distribution points for distributing textbooks and other educational paraphernalia.
The Final Word
Once again, shipping containers prove to be more than just big bulky steel boxes that traverse the seas. It is amazing to note how these ingenious solutions serve the right purpose in the nick of time. Container conversions cost just a fraction of the expense of buying land and erecting a new lab or hospital ward.
Above everything, an immediate solution is the need of the hour, and shipping containers are the perfect answer. At Supertech Industries, UAE, we have a dedicated and skilled workforce to convert our client’s container conversion requirements into high-quality products. We undertake the entire responsibility of conceptualising the conversion plan, procuring containers, and completing the exterior and interior fittings. Click here to contact our team today!