From all reports the Coronavirus maybe airborne and is very aggressive. Based on my training and experience as a healthcare facility engineer please allow me to outline some desired quarantining conditions which ought to apply in this case.
Quarantining should be done in single rooms (one person), with standard floor dimensions of 12’ X 10’. The rooms should be under negative pressure and all air should be exhausted, preferably through a hepa-filter. Negative pressure can be tested by applying a puff of smoke/powder at the base of the closed room door. If the smoke/powder enters the room this is an indication that the room is under negative pressure. The reason for this requirement is to prevent contaminated air for entering the hallways/corridors or other parts of the facility where other staff work and so stave off the breathing of infected air. For facilities equipped with central air-conditioning systems no return air must be allowed from the rooms being used for quarantining.
There should be no ‘raw’ surfaces in the room. This is meant that all surfaces must be painted, tiled, lacquered, laminated, or polished as may be appropriate. Applying such treatment to the surfaces provides for easier and better sanitization.
In recent copies of our daily newspapers were photographs of facilities to be used for quarantining. One was an open ward with four or more beds, another was referred to as an ‘isolation room’ with two dingy looking cots. These do not meet the standards outlined above. These choices were most likely due to the combination of financial stringency, design and/or construction without the requisite healthcare input. Also, from news reports two hotels will be used as quarantine facilities. Normally, hotels too are not constructed to meet such stringent standards. In comparison, it is my opinion that in some cases home quarantining may offer just as good or an even better alternative. To this end the authorities should assess the homes of persons to be quarantined in order to make a more informed decision.
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