Friday, February 26, 2021

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DRDO Uses Technology From Submarines To Develop Bio-Suits For Medics Battling Covid-19

India’s premier defence research institution DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization) known for developing some of India’s latest weaponry and missiles has developed bio-suits for frontline workers and doctors engaged in the battle against Covid-19.

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India achieved a major milestone in its fight against novel coronavirus pandemic after the country’s premier defence research institution, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) developed a bio-suit known as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help its frontline workers and doctors from catching the deadly coronavirus.

A bio-suit prepared by the DRDO for medical staff fighting COVID-19.

The breakthrough was achieved after several researchers at various DRDO facilities successfully tested an adhesive which has its application in submarines to produce the bio-suit. The adhesive is a critical component in the suit as it seals off external air.

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The DRDO has developed the adhesive as an alternative to seam sealing tape whose shortage had affected the production of the bio-suit. The bio-suit was developed by combining the critical know-how and expertise of textile, coating and nanotechnology industries.

The bio-suit was tested against the parameters of the textile industry as well as for protection against synthetic blood and is said to have exceeded the standards set for body suits by the Ministry of Home and Family Welfare.

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The development is a major breakthrough for India as it had been facing severe crunch of medical equipments which had hampered its fight against Covid-19 outbreak.

A statement issued by India’s Defence Ministry read that the DRDO had prepared a special sealant as an alternative to seam sealing tape based on the sealant used in submarines. It further added that the suit was cleared for testing at Southern India Textile Research Association in Coimbatore.

DRDO chief Satish Reddy said that DRDO reinvented itself in the fight against coronavirus and developed and shared technologies free of cost with the private sector to mass-produce the critical equipment required by the government to tackle coronavirus.

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Kusumgarh Industries is presently making the raw materials and coating materials while the suit is being manufactured with the help of another company. Another vendor with expertise in textile sector is being brought in to boost production. Currently, 7,000 bio suits are manufactured and plans are underway to increase this capacity to 15,000 suits per day.

Similarly, the DRDO has designed five-layered N99 masks using nanotechnology for a cost of Rs 70. 10,000 masks are currently being made every day and there are plans to increase the production to 20,000 per day. Earlier DRDO had provided 40000 other face masks to Delhi Police.

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Since Covid-19 attacks respiratory functions, DRDO has also started working on multi-patient ventilators which can support 4-5 patients at a time. The ventilators are expected to be rolled out in a week’s time. As per an international report, India currently has only 30,000-40,000 ventilators.

DRDO had also developed in-house hand sanitizers at various governmental establishments to ensure smooth working of the offices without the fear of contamination. It has disbursed around 4,000 litres of hand sanitizers to India Armed Forces, Armed Forces Medical Corps, Defence Security Corps, 1500 litres to Ministry of Defence and 500 litres to various other establishments.

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