N-99 masks, bodysuit: DRDO’s plan to combat coronavirus in India
NEW DELHI: The DRDO has produced a range of products, including multi-layered advanced masks and bodysuit to deal effectively with the outbreak of coronavirus, officials said on Friday.
The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has been tracking the spread of COVID-19 since the world media started reporting its devastating impact in China’s Wuhan, they said.
“In the first week of March, the DRDO took a call to enhance efforts to create countermeasures 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 the 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 l of hand sanitiser has been sent to armed forces which include, army, navy, air force and the Armed Forces Medical Core, 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 the 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.
A bodysuit is a critical requirement for doctors; medical staff, sanitation workers so that they are not contacted by the virus during their work, the DRDO official said.
Earlier, the DRDO has 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.