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Coronavirus lockdown | DRDO gears up to make 20,000 PPE a day

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviews efforts being undertaken to contain coronavirus (COVID-19) with the Chief of the Army Staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane through videoconferencing, in New Delhi on April 1, 2020.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviews efforts being undertaken to contain coronavirus (COVID-19) with the Chief of the Army Staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane through videoconferencing, in New Delhi on April 1, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangemnet

At a Defence Ministry review meeting, three Service Chiefs and other officials highlight their efforts.

A laboratory under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had made arrangements to make 20,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) a day and the DRDO was also engaged in minor modification of ventilators so that one machine could support four patients at a time, its Chairman, Satheesh Reddy, informed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday.

Also read | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

At a review meeting of the Ministry held through videoconferencing to contain Coronavirus, the three Service Chiefs and other officials too appraised him of their efforts.

Dr. Reddy informed that 50,000 litres of sanitizers made by the DRDO labs were supplied to various security entities, including the Delhi Police and another one lakh litres supplied all over the country, the Defence Ministry said in a statement. “Dr. Reddy said a five-layered nanotechnology face mask N99 are being made on a war footing. Ten thousand have already been made and soon per day production will be extended to 20,000,” the statement said.

Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat informed that separate hospitals have been identified to exclusively deal with COVID-19 and more than 9,000 hospital beds were available. “Over 1,000 evacuees are quarantined at facilities in Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Chennai, Manesar, Hindan and Mumbai. Their quarantine period will ‪end by April 7‬,” he said.

Also read | WHO warns ‘far from over’ in Asia and Pacific

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had airlifted 25 tonnes of medical supplies in the last three days from Delhi, Surat, Chandigarh to Manipur, Nagaland and the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, informed Air chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

These include PPE, hand sanitizers, surgical gloves, thermal scanners and medical personnel, the IAF said, adding that regular airlift of COVID-19 test samples from Ladakh to Delhi was also being carried out.

Army Chief Gen Manoj Naravane informed that more than 8,500 doctors and support staff were available to extend necessary assistance to the civilian administration. On providing assistance to neighbouring countries, he said that “assistance to Nepal in the form of medical equipment will be delivered shortly.”

Also read | Use more masks, India's top science advisory body recommends

Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh said naval ships were on a standby to extend any required assistance.

Retired health professionals have also been kept in readiness to volunteer their services, said Lt. Gen. Anup Banerji, Director General Armed Force Medical Services (AFMS). Aproximately, 25,000 National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets were “being mobilised to provide necessary local assistance.”

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 9:56:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-drdo-gears-up-to-make-20000-ppe-a-day/article31229996.ece

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