New Delhi: A 10-bedded makeshift hospital was inaugurated by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Minister at the National Disaster Response Force’s (NDRF) 8th Battalion Centre in Ghaziabad on Saturday.
The hospital would serve the purpose for the disaster recovery stage including for use in long pandemic or emergency situations. It has been set up by CSIR-Central Building Research Institute in collaboration with NDRF and Ministry of Home Affairs for demonstration purposes as well as for the use of NDRF.
Speaking on the occasion, Harsh Vardhan said, “The makeshift hospital solution is designed to provide primary healthcare facilities with safety and security in a comfortable living environment and has a long life span of up to 20 years.”
He added, “It demonstrates a modern, durable, fast installable, safe as well as all-terrain and all-weather deployable technology useful for disaster recovery as well as pandemic or emergency situation.”
The minister also pointed out that the country now has the capacity of carrying out over 10 lakh tests for Covid-19 every day, and also boasts of more than 1500 laboratories.
Harsh Vardhan said the work is currently progressing on three vaccine candidates and these are in advanced stages of trials with one of these being in the third phase of trials. He hoped that the country will have a vaccine soon after the phased trials are over.
CSIR Director General Shekhar C. Mande said that after the Covid outbreak, the CSIR-Central Building Research Institute and CSIR-Structural Engineering Research Institute worked on the concept of a makeshift hospital and made modifications on its post-disaster shelter design.
The laboratory introduced a foldable and framed steel structure, such that a single person can carry a couple of frames on his shoulder and assemble these at any site without much loss of time.
“Towards achieving a high technology readiness level, it was decided that CSIR-CBRI shall demonstrate the concept of this makeshift hospital through the setting up of a 10-bedded facility in a modular form at the NDRF’s 8th Battalion,” he added.
NDRF Director General S.N. Pradhan said that CSIR-CBRI and NDRF worked together with great synergy and completed the assembly of the structure within three days. It has been named as ‘Karuna Bhawan’.
Later, the NDRF completed the furnishing of the hospital set up, including the exteriors, he said.
Pradhan also pointed out that NDRF has repeatedly proved its determination in the realm of disaster response and disaster risk reduction in India. He said NDRF has contributed in a big way in Covid-19 management since January 2020.
“It has also conducted numerous Covid-19 awareness and sensitisation programmes for the community across all the states, which benefited our countrymen. Apart from training and awareness generation campaigns, NDRF has been assisting the state governments in various aspects of pandemic management,” he said.