Six months ago, Western Australian Indigenous-owned company Safespear sold safety gear to the resources sector.
- Portable anterooms are proving to be a useful addition in the fight against COVID-19
- WA business Safespear usually supplies the resources sector
- Equipment can be rapidly moved from site to site if needed
Now, it is using its expertise to make sure regional Western Australians have access to necessary medical equipment if there is a local outbreak by building portable anterooms for hospitals.
Company director Francois Witbooi said after taking a hit at the start of the pandemic, they were determined to pivot and use the technology they already had to fight against COVID-19.
“We’ve all lost hair and gained weight but it’s been really interesting,” he said.
Mr Witbooi said the company wanted to “provide support to vulnerable regional and remote Aboriginal communities who are generally at high risk because of co-morbidities”.
What is an anteroom?
A portable anteroom is an airlock entry system with inbuilt ventilation that helps prevent the spread of infectious disease, including COVID-19.
The doorway attachment, intended for use in a medical setting, turns any space into a negative or positive pressure isolation room.
They allow hospitals and clinics to separate patients carrying infectious disease from people who are visiting the ER for non-infectious ailments.
‘We can’t get complacent’
Six of the portable isolation anterooms have been sent to Geraldton, Collie, Carnarvon, Katanning, Derby and Esperance.
“We are working together with the facilities and the clinical teams to ensure we can actually meet the requirements of each of the individual hospitals,” Mr Witbooi said.
A further four units are being held in a central location to be sent to WA metropolitan hospitals if needed.
While there are few active cases in Western Australia, Health Minister Roger Cook said people could not afford to become complacent.
“Residents in regional WA can be confident that we have comprehensive preparedness plans in place to provide a blueprint for the ongoing management of COVID-19,” he said
WA Country Health Service COVID-19 lead Margaret Denton said the portability of the equipment meant it could be quickly moved to other sites if needed.
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