Troubling body images of dozens of coronavirus victims waiting to be buried on the streets of Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, prompted a businessman from neighboring Colombia to come up with something he said would prevent a similar scenario in other countries: hospital beds that can be converted into coffins.
The Colombian health system has so far not been overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients – the country is nearing the end of two months of quarantine – but the pandemic has caused overcrowding in hospitals and funeral homes elsewhere .
Worried about his country’s healthcare system that could at some point be overtaxed, Rodolfo Gomez, whose company ABC Displays generally produces marketing materials, designed the cardboard coffins.
“We saw what was happening in Ecuador, people were taking dead family members to the streets … what is also happening is that funeral services are collapsing with the pandemic,” said Gomez, 44 years old. “So we started to develop a bed that could be turned into a coffin.”
The beds have metal ramps, wheels with brakes and can be tilted up and down. They can support up to 150 kg. (330 lb). He said biodegradable coffins cost between $ 92 and $ 132.
Gomez hopes their low cost will allow local and provincial governments to equip rural or underfunded hospitals at a lower cost. Converting them to coffins if a patient dies will also reduce possible contamination, he said.
“Once the bodies are prepared, they are converted into a coffin and covered,” said Gomez at his factory in Bogota, which can produce up to 3,000 beds per month. “Nearby personnel are not exposed to biological risks.”
The first coffins will be donated to Leticia Hospital, a Colombian city in the Amazon that has a high number of cases and limited hospital capacity.
Gomez says he has already spoken to potential buyers in Peru, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and the United States.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)