Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of innovative uses for shipping containers. People have used them as work studios and even assembled several together to make houses. They are super strong and durable in the elements, and with sizes that start at 20 foot, quite spacious. But now, as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the humble shipping container has a new use.
Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and this crisis demands resourceful innovation to save lives. Around the world, ordinary people are sewing face masks from old bedsheets and using 3D printers to fashion other types of personal protection equipment for the brave folks on the front lines. Italy, one of the hardest hit nations, has found a use for shipping containers; they are being repurposed as isolation units for those sick with COVID-19.
The first isolation unit built from a shipping container opened to patients recently in the city of Turin in northern Italy. It is the result of four weeks of intense work from an international team of experts in the fields of architecture, engineering, and health technology. More units are under construction around the world, and the creators expect them to open soon. The open-source design is known as CURA, Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments, which is also the Italian word for cure.
CURA for COVID-19: Fast, Innovative and Effective
The highly contagious nature of COVID-19 means those who have the virus must be isolated to prevent further spread of the disease. When the number of patients quickly outpaced the number of isolation units, the situation became desperate. People died because hospitals in Italy were unable to cope with the number of patients seriously ill with COVID-19. More isolation units mean more lives saved.
Having a ready to go, basic, standalone structure saves time and resources. Shipping containers are an ideal solution. They are extremely durable and relatively easy to sanitize. Containers are large enough to accommodate a patient and the necessary equipment while giving medical staff adequate space to work. The walls of the container can be cut to install windows, allowing medical staff and family members to see the patient.
Another advantage shipping containers offer is that by their nature they are easy to transport. As the virus spreads, these units can be moved rapidly to meet demand. They can be scaled up or down rapidly as the need rises and falls. Multiple units can be joined to create a series of isolated pods connected to hospitals.
In these upsetting and unpredictable times, hope and innovation are vital. At Spratt Personal Shipping, we have temporarily scaled down our operations. We are assessing the situation constantly and following all recommendations to safeguard our staff. We aren’t shipping many items right now, but we wanted to ship out a little hope with this news.