“In the first week of March, the DRDO took a call to enhance efforts to create counter measures to stop the spread of the disease in India, as by then, the number of affected people in India had crossed 30. The DRDO also started focusing on creating mass supply solutions of critical medical requirements,” a senior DRDO official said.
As a result of focused approach, at present the DRDO is ready with four different items ready to be deployed in “war against coronairus”.
These are hand sanitiser, critical care ventilator, N99 masks and bodysuit, they said.
By the third week of March, hand sanitiser was produced in a sizeable quantity and distributed to major offices and establishments, within Delhi. Approximately 4,000 litres of hand sanitiser has been sent to armed forces which include, army, navy, air force and the Armed Forces Medical Corps, DSC.
And, 1,500 litres to the Defence Ministry, 300 litres to Parliament, and 500 litres to various security establishments and high offices to address sanitisation issue at first to keep administration work without the fear of contamination, the officials said.
In addition, the DRDO has distributed hand sanitiser to the Delhi Police at about 40 ‘nakas’ all around the city, they said.
“As coronavirus affects pulmonary functions, hence, to cater for this futuristic requirement, the DRDOs SBMT programme was modified with available vendor with DEBEL, Bangalore (a DRDO lab) and critical care ventilator was created by using existing technologies like breath regulators, pressure/flow sensors.
“Presently, innovation is on to create ‘multi-patient ventilator’ wherein several patients can be supported by a single ventilator. This innovation is expected to be available within one week, the official said.
The N99 masks are five-layer masks with two layers of nano mesh. These are one of the critical times to stop the spread of the virus, officials said.
Bodysuit is a critical requirement for doctors; medical staff, sanitation workers so that they are not contacted by virus during their work, the DRDO official said.
The DRDO had developed this bodysuit for medical and paramedical staff to manage and evacuate the casualties in the event of radiological emergencies, which right now is converted as a full bodysuit to stop contamination through coronavirus.
The suit is washable and has passed the ASTM standards. The suit is widely tested by the DRDO and other agencies and found suitable for the cause, the officials said.