Speedy construction methods – a solution to meet growing demand for COVID19 care and testing facilities

by Ofentse Sefolo
Speedy construction methods – a solution to meet growing demand for COVID19 care and testing facilities

Shipping containers and modular buildings are considered a fast way to meet the rapid demand for more healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 crisis. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concerns about Africa’s health systems which might be ill equipped to meet the demand for testing and care facilities. Governments have been urged to intensify their response.¹

South Africa is said to have the continent’s best public health system, however with a population of 59M and less than 1000 ICU beds, there is an urgent need for additional facilities.¹ Recognising this, the government has recently announced that the country will soon see thousands of healthcare field workers screening residents for COVID–19 symptoms utilizing mobile container testing units and facilities.

These modular and mobile constructions are not only viable as testing units but also as Intensive Care Units and as COVID 19 isolation wards. As the shipping container units are mobile, they can easily be reconfigured on site or moved between sites where demand has shifted.

Rhino Linings, the South African company that pioneered spray-on bedliners for delivery vehicles, has been assisting some of their applicators to provide the flooring and waterproofing coatings for these mobile units. According to Phil De Wet, Managing Director of Rhino Linings, a fast way to create ICU capacity is through the use of shipping containers or other modular construction. Rhino Linings’ spray-applied coatings are a workable solution for flooring and other surfaces in pop-up medical facilities as they bond to virtually any substrate.

“The coating cures within seconds and is ready to be walked on within a couple of minutes, allowing work to continue.

As the coating is spray-applied, it conforms to the substrate and forms a monolithic surface that is impervious to water penetration. It can be installed with a seamless, floor-to-wall cove.

“The super-fast turnaround and seamless finish reduces microbe and bacteria reproduction and is therefore easy to clean and decontaminate,” says De Wet, adding that another important quality of the coatings is their durability which makes them capable of handling high footfall.

In addition to spray-applied waterproofing and flooring coatings Rhino Linings offers polyurethane foam that assists with insulation, reducing energy consumption and keeping these structures insulated against the cold weather which will be starting soon.

“We have a nationwide network of approved applicators in South Africa, across most African countries and in the Indian Ocean Islands that are ready and able to respond to the need for flooring and surface coatings in pop-up healthcare facilities during the Coronavirus pandemic,” concludes de Wet.

For any queries please contact adrian@rhinolinings.co.za (+27)84 447 4466 or phil@rhinolinings.co.za (+27) 83 645 9402.

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