Coronavirus: Cardboard $10 bed helps India fight pandemic

Indian company is making a durable, disposable, quick-assembly bed that prevents the virus from surviving for more than one day

An Indian company has helped tackle the country’s growing coronavirus crisis by designing cardboard beds urgently needed for hospitals.

More than 15,000 of the highly durable but low-cost beds have now been sent to makeshift hospitals to help deal with the increasing number of infected people.

Dubai has also ordered a trial of 500 beds that can be assembled in four minutes and cost between $10 and $15 (Dh37-Dh55).

The product was invented by Vikram Dhawan and his brother Kapil, who came up with the design while they were stuck at home during India’s long lockdown

“We were sitting at home when we decided to do something to help India at this critical time,” Mr Dhawan, 41, told The National. “So we designed a bed in the house, we did our own research and development. We had a machine in our factory that helped us design a fantastic bed.”

Their company, Dhawan Box Sheet Containers, approached the Indian government in April, which quickly took them up on the offer ordering 10,000 beds, which have been installed in a temporary hospital in New Delhi.

The beds can support a person weighing 300kg and are chemically coated to resist moisture.

Because they are made of cardboard the coronavirus can survive on such a surface for only 24 hours whereas it can remain on metal, wood or plastic surfaces for up to four days.

The bed system comes in a flat-pack box and 500 of them can be placed into a single shipping container.

“We can use this bed in this crisis and the government has welcomed our idea,” said Mr Dhawan speaking from his cardboard factory in the northern city of Bhiwadi, near New Delhi. “The bed is durable and very economical compared to a metal bed. It’s compact, lightweight and can be manufactured and assembled in minutes.”

10,000 bed Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre. 
10,000 bed Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre. 

The basic materials come from a nearby paper mill and are converted into cardboard and corrugated sheets that are then made into the beds. They are fully recyclable and last approximately six months.

The company is able to manufacture 1,500 beds per day and the product is expected to be in high demand with India’s megacities of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai all experiencing record rises in Covid-19 cases.

India is has seen a severe spike with a record-breaking 25,000 infections per day. It has just passed Russia with the world’s third highest number of cases with 725,000 infected people and more than 20,000 deaths.

The cardboard company has also been contacted by the Iranian government, which has placed an initial order of 1,000 beds. Iran is fighting a significant outbreak of disease with 245,000 cases.

The company has also had inquiries from the hotel industry in India.

Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal and Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah jointly inspected the preparedness of the 10,000 bed Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre.
Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal and Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah jointly inspected the preparedness of the 10,000 bed Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre.

Published: July 8, 2020 03:31 PM

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