Feature: Colombian students create portable isolation domes for COVID-19

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BOGOTA, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — Architecture students from La Salle University in Bogota have developed portable epidemiological isolation domes to help control the spread of COVID-19, especially during vaccination, in different parts of Colombia.

The domes, made of polyvinyl chloride plastic that combines carbon, hydrogen and chlorine, were developed for health emergencies created by the increase in COVID-19 infections, but they can also be used in any type of emergency.

Alex Perez, a researcher at the university’s Faculty of Habitat Sciences, who was in charge of the development of the modules, told Xinhua that research began when they noticed the overcrowding in enclosed spaces for emergency pandemic care around the world, but now the domes can also be used in the vaccination process.

“We thought about how we could generate a solution that guarantees isolation as well as sanitary, secure and private conditions in a much more humane way,” said Perez, who is also a professor of architecture.

“That’s how the research progressed up to this point, where now we see many more possibilities. They can be used for the observation of low-complexity patients and the vaccination process, and since they have a useful lifespan of 15 years, they can be used in any emergency, and for academic or research purposes,” he added.

Each set of modules is composed of five inflatable units or pneumatic structures with ventilation systems and other medical equipment that can be adapted for patient care.

In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, the modules contribute to indoor disinfection requirements, a necessary measure for both patients and medical personnel exposed to the virus.

Colombia’s mass vaccination against COVID-19 will begin on Wednesday and aims to vaccinate at least 35 million people in 2021.

Perez explained that the modules have a huge potential during vaccination, since it is necessary to “keep a newly vaccinated patient for 30 or 45 minutes in observation, which means occupying a bed within the hospital system, something that cannot happen at the moment.”

“The medical systems are at maximum capacity, so using them (the modules) in this process is a very good alternative,” he said.

The Ministry of Science was the main sponsor of the units through a scientific call, which granted almost 300,000 U.S. dollars and led to the manufacturing of 12 modules for use in different regions of the South American country.

In its daily report, the Colombian Health Ministry reported a total of 2,202,598 COVID-19 cases and 57,949 deaths as of Tuesday. Enditem

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