CityU designs shield to lower care home virus risks

Researchers at City University said on Tuesday they have designed a “negative pressure” shield that can reduce the risk of cross-infection at elderly care homes.

They said the shield, shaped like a house and used to cover the upper part of a bed, can expell virus-tainted air through an exhaust pipe before filtering and releasing it.

One of the researchers leading the project, Tsou Jin-yeu from the university’s architecture and civil engineering department, pointed out that the device is easy to make with readily available materials such as cardboard and aluminium exhaust ducts.

“I think two persons… if they have reasonable exposure to using tools of cutting, or making artwork when they were in school, I think they can do it,” he said, adding that researchers have video-taped the procedure and created a manual on how to build the device.

Tsou said the shield should not be costly to build either, noting that the different components such as cardboard, exhaust pipes and air filters should cost about HK$2,000 altogether.

He said his team is working to further simplify and improve the design, and will study whether the air shield can be applied to other facilities such as quarantine hotels.