Modular negative-pressure ward built for S. Korea's state hospital

By Lim Chang-won Posted : October 19, 2020, 17:41 Updated : October 19, 2020, 17:41

[Courtesy of Kolon Global]

SEOUL -- A three-story modular negative-pressure ward with 30 rooms was completed for a state hospital to treat COVID-19 patients. It is South Korea's largest negative-pressure ward. Kolong Global, a civil engineering and architectural firm, assembled it in a week, but the ward met strict criteria required by South Korea's state anti-epidemic center.

The modular ward can be operated as a single unit that consists of multiple wards and air purifiers that provide and suck out air into the ward. Kolon has used state-of-the-art air-conditioning technology to realize an optimal negative-pressure state while adopting a design that separates the movement path of patients and healthcare staff to prevent infection.

"We tried to shorten the construction period as much as possible and reflect 100 percent of the demands of medical staff at the National Medical Center," a Kolon official said. Kolon is pushing for overseas export by standardizing negative-pressure ward technology. The company has received inquiries about modular negative-pressure wards from other countries including Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

Negative-pressure wards play a vital part in COVID-19 screening and treatment as it prevents cross-contamination inside an enclosed space by creating a constant flow of purified air through special filters. Serious COVID-19 patients have been placed in negative-pressure rooms that stop air from being released into any other part of hospitals.

COVID-19 screening centers have been set up across the country but not all of them are equipped with proper negative-pressure wards because they are expensive and hard to set up. To tackle the shortage of negative-pressure wards and protect medical staff, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has adopted an innovative drive-thru testing method.

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