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IIT Ropar develops 'portable negative pressure rooms' to shield medical staff from coronavirus

IIT Ropar has sent their proposal to the Ministry of Human Research and Development and principal scientific adviser for creating negative pressure isolation rooms on a mass scale.

Published: 06th April 2020 04:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2020 04:23 PM   |  A+A-

Doctors wearing protective gear scan visitors at the entrance of a hospital in wake of coronavirus outbreak, during the nationwide lockdown, in Srinagar

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: In order to shield the medical staff from coronavirus and ensure that the COVID-19 patients are in proper isolation, a team of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar has come up with a solution after studying the South Korea model for creating portable negative pressure rooms for the patients.

It is learnt that the IIT Ropar has sent their proposal to the Ministry of Human Research and Development (MHRD) and principal scientific adviser for creating negative pressure isolation rooms on a mass scale to prevent room-to-room cross-contamination in hospitals.

Talking with this correspondent, Dr Dhiraj Kumar Mahajan, Associate Professor in department of mechanical Engineering of IIT Ropar, said, "The negative pressure room ensures that released droplets of the infected do not stay suspended and is sucked out through the ventilation. South Korea has
been able to contain the COVID-19 through their mobile and drive through testing facilities which have negative pressure rooms. The testing labs and isolation rooms (which have one or more COVID patient) need to be converted into negative pressure rooms for the safety of health workers."

"These negative pressure rooms are specifically designed isolation rooms in hospitals and medical centres to prevent transmission of virus through air by patients. It includes a ventilation system that generates of negative pressure in the room which allows the air to flow into the isolation room and escape from the room carrying away the viruses along. The negative pressure prevents any airborne pathogen out of isolation wads. The continuous filtration of virus infected air reduces the potential risk of infections on doctors and other health care staff," he said.

Mahajan said: "These negative pressure rooms will use fabricated plastic sheets as suction system to filter out the air in the room. Each room will be nine feet into and nine feet. If we get the material, they can be made in a few days at a cost of Rs 9,000 per room."

"A sealed plastic canopy and a removable door around the bed of the patient will be installed in the room and the suction system will be appropriately placed to suck the oral discharge from the patient. It will ensure that the health professionals will not come in contact with the air borne virus. The suction system which we have developed will automatically purify the air before discharging to the environment," he said.

"This project was supported by the IIT students an volunteers from industr," Mahajan added.



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