Soft support: Company makes low-cost cardboard beds for Covid-19 patients

Topics Coronavirus | Gujarat

Shah is giving away the first 1000 beds made at his Vapi plant to Gujarat government and also the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)
Rhea Shah, an architecture graduate from Harvard University, was stuck in Vapi (Gujarat) en route to the Netherlands where she is headed for a doctoral programme after the growing Covid-19 crisis restricted her travel plans.

Shah, daughter of the owner of paper and packaging company Aryan Paper Group, came up with a design to make beds out of corrugated boards using high strength paper.

These beds, that Aryan Paper claims can support a weight of over 200 kgs, are light weight, easy to move, assemble and also easy to dispose.

These can be used as emergency hospital beds or for that matter to house workmen at manufacturing sites.



The growing Covid crisis has suddenly created an urgent need to add beds to house those who are quarantined or under treatment. As manufacturing sites crawl back to operations, there is a demand to house the manpower on site.
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Speaking to Business Standard, Sunil Shah, managing director (MD) of Aryan Paper, said he wanted to do this at a no-profit basis.

"We have priced the beds around Rs 900 and Rs 1,000 and then there would be a logistics cost, depending on which part of the country they need to be transported. Transportation, too, is economical as the components of these beds can be flat stacked easily in trucks. They can be assembled without any nails, glues or stitching at the site," Sunil said.

These beds are coated with a waterproof solution to avoid damage due to spillage. A design with an inclined head rest, too, has been created after physicians recommended that many patients with respiratory illness may have difficulty in lying down.


The Vapi plant has capacity to produce 2,000 beds per day. The government's Covid Task Force has already got in touch with Aryan Paper to understand the innovation.

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The company is giving away the first 1,000 beds made at the Vapi plant to the Gujarat government and also the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).

He is also gearing up to supply a consignment to the Indian Navy soon as it is setting up a makeshift Covid hospital. Enquiries are flowing in from other Navy commands as well, along with corporate hospitals and manufacturing plants.

Richter Themis Medicare, a Gujarat-based pharmaceutical and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) maker, for example, is looking to procure around 100 beds to house its workers at the site.

Rajneesh Anand, chief executive officer (CEO) of Richter Themis said the current situation necessitates that workers stay within the plant premises as not only is travel difficult, but this also reduces the risk of them carrying infections from outside.

"If we have to procure a metal bed (the cheapest bed available in the market), it would cost us around Rs 3,500 or so. These paper beds would come at one third the cost and they can be easily carried to the upper floors," Anand said.

Aryan Paper felt that once the use was over, the beds could be easily disposed of in an eco-friendly manner. Another paper packaging has also come up with a cardboard bed for medical or emergency use. Business Standard could not immediately contact the company.

However, one major corporate hospital said cardboard beds were a good option for quarantine but not for critical patients. This is because they would need to be moved for testing and other emergencies and these beds did not have wheels.


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