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Indian J Med Res. 2020 Mar 16. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_518_20. [Epub ahead of print]

Guidance for building a dedicated health facility to contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.

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Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India.
Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India.
Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell; CG Pandit Chair (Medical), Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India.
ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Maximum Containment Facility, ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Former Director, Communicable Diseases, World Health Organization, South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India.


Preparedness for the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its spread in India calls for setting up of adequately equipped and dedicated health facilities to manage sick patients while protecting healthcare workers and the environment. In the wake of other emerging dangerous pathogens in recent times, such as Ebola, Nipah and Zika, it is important that such facilities are kept ready during the inter-epidemic period for training of health professionals and for managing cases of multi-drug resistant and difficult-to-treat pathogens. While endemic potential of such critically ill patients is not yet known, the health system should have surge capacity for such critical care units and preferably each tertiary government hospital should have at least one such facility. This article describes elements of design of such unit (e.g., space, infection control, waste disposal, safety of healthcare workers, partners to be involved in design and plan) which can be adapted to the context of either a new construction or makeshift construction on top of an existing structure. In view of a potential epidemic of COVID-19, specific requirements to handle it are also given.


Biocontainment; biosafety; coronavirus; designated health facility; infection prevention and control

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