To meet the demand for better healthcare facilities among the people during the Covid19 pandemic, the Centre is planning to set up 50 innovative modular hospitals across the country in the next two-three months.

The modular hospitals can be built adjacent to an existing hospital building as a part of an extension of the hospital infrastructure.

The design and concept of these modular hospitals has been developed by Modulus Housing, a start-up incubated at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M).

The project, MediCAB hospitals, enables building a 100-bed extension facility in three weeks.

“MediCAB hospitals are designed with a dedicated zone of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) that can accommodate various life-support equipment and medical devices,” the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser ( PSA) to the Government said on Sunday.

“These negative pressure portable hospitals have durability of around 25 years, and they can also be shifted in the future for any disaster response in less than a week,” it added.

The IIT Madras-based startup 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 office of the PSA said.

“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,” it added.

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.

It has have initiated work on 48 bedded modular hospitals in Gurdaspur and Faridkot.

Expansion of ICU at multiple hospitals in Chhattisgarh including Raipur, Jashpur, Bemetara, Kanker, and Gaurella are also underway.

“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,” the office of the PSA said.

To help in the setting up of modular hospitals and various other projects of national importance, the Office of the PSA has also sought the involvement of private sector companies, donor organizations, and individuals.

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