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Coronavirus warriors: Meet these sustainability experts who hew out viable COVID-19 isolation facilities

An innovative team led by Dr Anunaya Chaubey and Dr Miniya Chatterji of Anant National University creates temporary hospitals and isolation facilities in less than 5 days within vacant properties. The first one will welcome people flying back from the Gulf to Kerala this weekend.

June 02, 2020 / 11:50 AM IST

When a bunch of Indians fly in from the Gulf into the southern state of Kerala this Sunday, they will be whisked away to a fully kitted isolation centre that took under 5 days to be built. It is the handiwork of Dr Miniya Chatterji and Dr Anunaya Chaubey, and their team of innovators.

The times of unprecedented crises call for indigenous solutions. As India struggles to contain and treat the rising number of victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a mammoth need for creating isolation and recovery facilities and temporary hospitals.

The innovative team led by Dr Chaubey and Dr Chatterji of the Anant National University (AnantU) has devised a solution. Dr Chatterji is the director and founder for the Centre of Sustainability at the Ajay Piramal-led University, and CEO and founder of Sustain Labs Paris (a sustainability incubator), while Dr Chaubey is its Provost.

The idea is really simple: take an empty facility — a residential building, a commercial complex, a marriage or conference hall, “just about anything that is not a warehouse or an empty maidan and not very hygienic for such a healthcare facility, particularly for a disease that is respiratory in nature,” says Dr Chatterji — and kit it out into a fully equipped isolation centre.