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DRDO and IAF Have Been Coming up with Very Innovative Strategies to Fight the COVID Challenge

On June 01, 2020, Ministry of Defence announced that Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a disinfection unit named Ultra Swachh (clean) to disinfect a wide range of materials, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), electronics items, fabrics, etc. Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), DRDO’s Delhi based laboratory has developed this product with industry partner M/s Gel Craft Healthcare Private Ltd, Ghaziabad.

The system uses an advanced oxidative process comprising of multiple barrier disruption approach using Ozonated Space Technology for disinfection. The system is double layered with specialised Ozone sealant technology assuring trapping of ozone for the necessary disinfection cycle. It also has catalytic converter to ensure environment friendly exhaust i.e. only oxygen and water. In compliance with International Standards of Industrial, Occupational, Personal and Environmental Safety, the Ultra Swachh comes in two variants, namely Ozonated Space and Trinetra Technology. Trinetra technology is the combination of Ozonated space and radical dispenser. Treatment is optimised with automation for quick disinfection cycle.

Ultra Swachh, which operates on 15 Ampere, 220 Volts, 50 Hertz power supply, has been provided with various safety features such as emergency shutdown, door interlocks, dual door, delay cycle, and leak monitors, etc to ensure safe operations for longer duration. Dimensions of the Industrial Cabinet are 7’x4’x3.25’ to disinfect a large quantity at a time. Cabinets of different sizes will be available for the industry.

On June 8, 2020, Indian Air Force (IAF) announced that it has designed, developed and inducted an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT), which will be utilised for evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases including COVID-19 from high altitude area, isolated and remote locations.

The requirement of an air evacuation system with facility to prevent spread of infectious aerosol from a COVID-19 patient during air travel was felt by IAF when COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic. The first prototype was developed at 3 Base Repair Depot, Air Force and has undergone various modifications. Supporting the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) call by the Prime Minister, only indigenous materials have been used to fabricate this pod. This indigenously designed system has been developed at a cost of Rs Sixty Thousand only, which is one hundredth the cost of the imported systems i.e. Rs Sixty Lakh (60,00,000)

The system has been developed as a lightweight isolation system made from aviation certified material. It has a transparent and durable cast Perspex for enhanced patient visibility which is larger, higher and wider than the existing models. The isolation system caters for suitable number of air exchanges, integration of medical monitoring instruments, and ventilation to an intubated patient. In addition, it generates high constant negative pressure in the isolation chamber for prevention of infection risk to aircrew, ground crew and health care workers involved in air transportation. The ARPIT utilises High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) H-13 class filters and supports invasive ventilation using Transport Ventilator. The design integrates life support and monitoring instruments (defibrillator with multipara monitor, pulse oximeter, Infusion pumps etc), long arm gloves for use by health care professionals and power pack with high endurance. Design requirements have been evolved and are based on the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA.  The IAF is inducting seven ARPITS to begin with.

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