DRDO to develop ‘multi-patient ventilators’ for critical COVID-19 patients

The multi-patient ventilators will help support several patients through a single unit.

Mar 30, 2020 15:51 IST
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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is trying to develop 'multi-patient ventilators' to support critical COVID-19 patients. 

The multi-patient ventilators will help support several patients through a single unit. The DRDO is developing the advanced ventilators to meet the demand in case the coronavirus outbreak goes out of control.

The first lot of the multi-patient ventilators are expected to be ready within a week. 

Multi-Patient Ventilators: Key Highlights 

The DRDO aims to produce around 5000 ventilators in the first months and 10,000 subsequently. 
Each of the critical care ventilators is expected to cost around Rs four lakh.

The organisation has found some local alternatives to the supply of critical components. 

Around nine companies have been identified for design transfer and to produce the components of the ventilator. Anand Mahindra has been selected for the fabrication of components.

As per reports, the government has reached out to five automobile companies- Honda Cars India, Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India, Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors to explore the possibility of making ventilators at their plants.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation is also developing personal protection equipment including five-layered N-99 face masks for the healthcare personnel of the country. 

The DRDO has offered the technology to the industry to produce the face masks on a large scale. The DRDO has also produced surgical face masks and distributed them to the Delhi Police. 

The DRDO is also producing sanitizing vans in large numbers to supply to major cities and towns to sanitize people who enter the van. 

Ventilators in India

India has a total of about 40,000 ventilators at present including about 8,500 in public hospitals. 

Kerala, which has the highest number of positive coronavirus cases has around 5000 ventilators, Mumbai has about 1,000, Tamil Nadu has around 1,500 and Madhya Pradesh has about 1,800 ventilator units.

The number of ventilators in some of the eastern states is less than 10. 

Background 

The Health Ministry has asked the public sector unit to make about 10,000 ventilators. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a PSU under the Ministry of Defence, is expected to supply about 30,000 ventilators by June 2020. 

The initiative to invite corporates to make multi-patient ventilators is also being tried out by the United States, which currently has the maximum COVID-19 patients in the world. 

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