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Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) role played during the pandemic: SKY is the limit

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vasureddy
vasureddy
Dr. Vasu reddy graduated MBBS from kurnool medical college , post graduation from All India institute of medical sciences, New Delhi and surgical oncology from kidwai memorial institute of oncology. He has good knowledge in history, economics and politics.

With an aim of saving lives as priority rather than economy, in a conquest between lives and livelihoods, lives have been given priority in India. With this approach with early stringent lockdown when the cases were less than 500 for 40 days initially, we could fetch time to develop and scale up the necessary medical and para-medical infrastructure for active surveillance, testing, contact tracing, isolation, management of cases and educating citizens about social distancing and masks, etc. With one testing lab and less than 100 tests per day in Jan 2020, India upscaled its capacity to conduct 10 lakh tests per day in 2305 laboratories by 2021. Similarly with minimal PPE, N95 masks, ventilators, infrastructure in hospitals India could successfully face the pandemic with less mortalities and had reached a plateau phase. In this war against the virus, few partners stood the way with the government in combating this virusà of which one should remind is DRDO which paved the way to the government in every step and helped to win over the pandemic. During this period India had to fight hard with the Chinese origin Virus and Chinese. The Chinese when the whole world is fighting with the pandemic had started aggression into Indian territory. The lockdown provided the necessary time to put in place the fundamentals of the ‘5 T’ strategy – Test, Track, Trace, Treat, Technology. When the number of cases crossed 30, DRDO entered the combat by accelerating products and countermeasures to curtail the spread. During the pandemic DRDO at their 40 laboratories, more than 50 technologies are been transferred and more than 130 equipment’s developed and brought to public use.

Role in testing:  From 111 testing labs in March 2020 to 2506 labs by 5th May 2021 conducting nearly 15 lakh tests per day . Also played a vital role in developing COVID testing kits which were initially been imported from China.

Role in prevention: Prevention of COVID requires usage of masks, sanitation and maintenance of physical distance. India was producing virtually zero before the pandemic and it raised to  around 200,000 PPE kits and 250,000 N95 masks per day by May 2020. The coverall suit is improvised by making them impermeable to liquids at the same time allowing air easily making  the user comfortable. It also helped in manufacture of face shields and aerosol containment box for safe intubation for COVID patients undergoing treatment. DRDO, Gwalior played an important role in checking the efficacy and quality of the products like “Synthetic blood penetration facility” test to check PPEs, sanitizer testing and face mask testing. COVID-19 SAMPLE COLLECTION KIOSK (COVSACK) and WALK-IN SWAB COLLECTION KIOSK (WISK) Kiosks were developed for safe collection of samples from suspected individuals. Temperature checking probes were developed for both industrial and domestic purposes. Personal, area and vehicle sanitization equipment’s were developed like personnel sanitization enclosures, portable backpack sanitization equipment, trolley mounted large area sanitization equipment, vehicle sanitization enclosure, mobile area sanitization system, Light motor vehicle mounted sanitization system, Ultra violet sanitization box, COVID 19 (Ultra violet) UVC cabinet sanitizer, automated luggage disinfector using UVC and many more in combatting the pandemic.

Role in treatment :

This included a 750-bed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid hospital in Delhi, a 900-bed Dhanvantari hospital in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, a 500-bed ESI hospital in Patna, a 750-bed Pandit Rajan Mishra hospital in Varanasi, a 500-bed Atal Bihari Vajpayee hospital in Lucknow, 316 bedded hospital in Guwahati, two 800 bedded hospitals in Rishikesh and Haldwani, 500 bedded hospital in Jammu. India had approximately 40,000 ventilators in March 2020, of which 8,432 were with the public sector. Now under PM CARES, 45,066 ventilators are distributed to public  sector. Ventilator was developed indigenously by DEBEL, Bangalore. Also multi patient ventilator kit was developed wherein at time of emergency a single ventilator is made to available to connect to many patients. A new drug 2-DG (2-deoxy glucose) was developed by DRDO to fight COVID. During the second wave, we have faced scarcity of Oxygen and Government with the help of DRDO established medical oxygen plants nationwide in nearly 1500 hospitals. SAMPARC (Smart Automated Management of Patients and Risks for  COVID-19)  software app was developed by DRDO for tracking of COVID-19 suspects who are in isolation or quarantine.

DRDO outplayed when necessary in critical situation when people and country were in deep troubles fighting the pandemic with requirement of newer infrastructure and equipment . DRDO and its laboratories came with newer innovative equipments   and made India self sufficient , self reliant and we are able to export and help other countries in fighting the pandemic.

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vasureddy
vasureddy
Dr. Vasu reddy graduated MBBS from kurnool medical college , post graduation from All India institute of medical sciences, New Delhi and surgical oncology from kidwai memorial institute of oncology. He has good knowledge in history, economics and politics.
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