Amidst the growing crisis due to the pandemic, there arises an urgent need to add beds for patients. Indian packaging companies have come up with innovative novel solutions.
It is quite evident that Covid19 has forced the world to stay put. Governments across the globe are in a state of chaos. While people are deprived of enough food and are unable to meet their other basic necessities; the health centres/hospitals are facing acute shortage of personal protective equipment, face masks, ventilators, and of course, hospital beds. But Covid19 has also made people look forward to fast, innovative, economically viable and eco-friendly solutions.
With rapid increase in cases being tested positive for the virus, the number of hospitals and beds needed for Covid-19 patients has been shooting up. In India, governments at both the level – Centre & State – are taking vital steps, to the extent of being over-prepared, to combat the deadly virus. Going with the data provided by health ministry, it has earmarked over one lakh beds in 601 hospitals across the country even as estimates show only 1,671 beds are required in tertiary care.
Thanks to the collective urge to fight the virus that led to numerous innovations in almost no time. Creativity, at this juncture, can be seen touching a new high, across the segments, irrespective of sectors. No wonder signage industry stakeholders are doing their bit of contribution by offering novel solutions. While 3D printers are busy manufacturing face masks and other components of personal protective equipment; a couple of paper & packaging companies have come forward with low-cost corrugated sheet beds to meet the need of the hour.
Haresh Mehta of Jayna Packaging and Sunil Shah of Aryan Paper Group have come up with a recyclable, lightweight and cost-effective solution – a medical bed made of corrugated sheet. Mehta claims that this easy to assemble lightweight bed can withstand up to 300 kgs, while Shah approved up to 200kgs. The bed can also be sanitised and withstand daily moping. Also, studies show that Covid-19 virus can survive for 12 hours on paper, whereas up to 72 hours on plastic and metal. The beds so prepared are strong, lightweight, environment friendly, biodegradable, can be disinfected, and the surface coating that makes it waterproof is FDA approved.
Many hospitals across the nation have reported the need for more hospital beds in order to accommodate the growing number of Covid-19 cases. In the mean time, as manufacturing sites crawl back to operations, the demand to house the manpower on-site has also started emerging. In such a scenario, these light weight, easy to move, assemble and easy to dismantle beds can be used as emergency hospital beds or for that matter to house workmen at manufacturing sites. The bed, which weighs around 10kgs, measures 6.5ft in length, 3ft in width, and 3ft high.
Vapi in Gujarat-based, the paper and packaging company Aryan Paper Group, after realising the dearth of hospital beds decided to use its strength i.e. paper to design and manufacture emergency hospital beds. Rhea Shah, daughter of the owner Sunil Shah, took the lead. Rhea is an architecture graduate from Harvard University and had got stuck at home due to the pandemic. She came up with a design to make beds out of kraft paper-based corrugated board using high strength paper.
Mumbai-based Jayna Packaging Pvt. Ltd. has been in the business of furniture made of corrugated sheet for few years now. Mehta is known to have a voracious appetite for corrugation. The testimony of the fact is his office which is fashioned out of cardboard, and so are the beds, benches, bookshelves, tables, chairs, children’s furniture, toys, coffee cups, lamps, photo frames. In 2016, Jayna Packaging created a Loo Box. This recyclable dry toilet is ideal for elderly and senior citizens at home, as well as road travellers.
The corrugated sheet bed has been designed to be easy to carry around and install on makeshift hospitals in rural and urban areas, should such situations arise. As far as structural integrity of the bed is concerned, considering the fact that the basic material is cardboard, it has been made to withstand considerably very high weight (over 200kgs) while weighing just about 10kgs. Going forward, the bed is coated with FDA-approved waterproof solution to avoid damage due to spillage.
Moreover, since the bed is developed keeping its medical use in mind, a design with an inclined head rest, too, has been created after physicians recommended that many patients with respiratory illness may have difficulty in lying down. However, the bed cannot be used for extremely critical patients, since they are normally taken from one facility to another for tests, but this can surely come in helpful for cases which are not very serious.
One of the best things about the design is that it’s completely tool-less, thereby eliminating the need of using nails, hammer, glue or stitching to shape it up. It is built connecting cardboard using slots (just like in arts and crafts projects in school) and the entire bed is ready in minutes for a patient to rest. And since the bed is made of cardboard, it is biodegradable and can be easily disposed of, which means it won’t cause unnecessary waste in dumping grounds.
Interestingly, Aryan Paper Group has decided to follow no-profit business model, and hence, has priced the bed pretty economically at Rs900 and Rs1,000 plus the logistics cost, depending upon which part of the country the beds need to be transported. The company is currently supplying to Gujarat Government and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).
The Group is also gearing up to supply a consignment to the Indian Navy soon as it is setting up a makeshift Covid-19 hospital. Enquiries are flowing in from other Navy commands as well, along with corporate hospitals and manufacturing plants. Richter Themis Medicare, a Gujarat-based pharmaceutical and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) maker, for example, is looking to procure around 100 beds to house its workers at the site.