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Defence PSUs, Ordinance Factory Board ramp up fight against COVID-19

Defence PSUs, Ordinance Factory Board ramp up fight against COVID-19
New Delhi, Apr 18 () From increasing production of personal protection equipment (PPE) kits to manufacturing prototypes of ventilators, defence public sector undertakings and the ordnance factory board have ramped up efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

These vital institutions of the Department of Defence Production (DDP) under the Ministry of Defence have channelised all their resources, technical knowhow and manpower to help the nation mitigate the deadly virus, officials said.

Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru, has set up isolation ward facility with three beds in intensive care unit and 30 beds in wards, the defence ministry said in a statement. In addition, a building with 30 rooms has been readied.

In all, the HAL facility can accommodate 93 people.

HAL has manufactured and distributed 25 PPEs to doctors in various hospitals in Bengaluru that are authorised to treat COVID-19 patients. It has also manufactured 160 aerosol boxes which have been distributed to various government hospitals in Bengaluru, Mysore, Mumbai, Pune, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the statement added.

DPSUs and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have assisted civilian administration in fight against COVID-19, the ministry said.

Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL), another DPSU, has come forward on the directions of the health ministry to manufacture and supply 30,000 ventilators to ICUs in the country within two months. The design of these ventilators was originally developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and later improved by Skanray, Mysore, with whom BEL has collaborated, it said.

BEL is likely to start manufacturing of ventilators between April 20-24. As per the tentative schedule, BEL is expected to manufacture 5,000 units in April, 10,000 in May and 15,000 in June. It is also making efforts to indigenise these components with the help of DRDO, the statement said. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is developing a prototype of ventilator which is likely to be tested and certified by the first week of May before it starts with manufacturing. It is working on this project with the help of a private start-up of Pune, the ministry said.

Also, the Ordnance Factory Board, which heads 40 ordnance factories in the country, has started supply of coveralls conforming to ISO class 3 exposure standards. Manufacture of the initial order of 1.10 lakh from HLL Lifecare Limited (HLL) is in full swing and it will be completed in 40 days, it said.

Ordnance Equipment Group of factories located at Kanpur, Shahjahanpur, Hazratpur (Firozabad) and Chennai are engaged in manufacturing coveralls. The present production rate is 800 per day and efforts are on to ramp up to a level of 1,500 per day, the statement said.

For testing the efficacy of coveralls and masks, it has developed three machines which have been approved by South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) and are to be used in production to maintain the standards.

The Ordnance Factory Board has also manufactured 5,870 PPEs which have been distributed to HLL, CMO, Firozabad, besides its own hospitals in ordnance factories, it added.

The OFB has also developed special two-metre tents which can be used for medical emergency, screening, hospital triage and quarantine purposes.

Ordinance factories are presently producing 7,500 litres of sanitisers against an order of 28,000 litres from HLL, the nodal agency appointed by the Government of India for centralised procurement.

The OFB has so far manufactured 1,11,405 masks which include 38,520 three-ply medical masks. These have been distributed to Tamil Nadu Police, district civil and police authorities in Firozabad and Agra, the Cantonment Board Shahjahanpur, the Government of Uttarakhand, the district health officer Shahjahanpur, Military Intelligence, etc, it said. KND DPB

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