Prefabricated modular medical facility manufacturer and equipper Safepod has built and outfitted a five-bed isolation unit at the company’s offices in Saxonwold to showcase how quickly it can be set up, as well as its footprint and usability.
Safepod was established as a partnership between renewable energy company Africa Clean Energy Solutions (Aces) and mining, civil and roadworks company 3C Tech Mining.
It uses a light building system, which is sourced from building solutions company Shell Case. It is premanufactured in Isando and containerised for shipment in a knock-down kit. The system is modular and light, making it quick to assemble and easy to handle with no heavy equipment being required.
Safepod offers up to seven different solutions, from a 5-bed to a 35-bed unit. A typical 35-bed unit takes about 20 days to manufacture and install.
The company built and equipped the unit at its offices to show clients its use as either a temporary or permanent facility, thereby increasing its appeal to a post-Covid-19 environment, where it can be used as an extension to a clinic or hospital.
Aces CEO Dave Kruger tells Engineering News that from the date of order to completion of the show unit was eight days. “We plan to keep it set up at our premises for about the next six months.”
The R3.2-million demonstration unit is equipped with isolation and intensive care unit beds, ventilators, an electrocardiography machine and fully kitted bathroom. It is also equipped with Safepod’s off-grid power solution that uses solar photovoltaic panels and batteries to power it day and night.
Safepod has invited several organisations, including the South African National Defence Force, mining companies and medical health departments and organisations to view the unit.
Meanwhile, Safepod is also fulfilling an order for two seven-bed units for a mining company in the Northern Cape. “These units are currently under construction and we expect to get these to the client within the next 14 days,” Kruger says.
Safepod is also awaiting permission from the relevant government departments to transport these units across provincial lines.
These units include some medical equipment, including hospital beds and oxygen reticulation equipment.
Kruger says mining companies, public health departments and a large private hospital chain have shown an interest in acquiring Safepod units to help in the fight against Covid-19.