New Delhi: As the country steps up its battle against Covid-19, the Indian Navy’s Mumbai and Visakhapatnam dockyards have also turned their attention to fighting the deadly virus.
While the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai has designed and developed its own hand-held infrared-based temperature sensor for screening of personnel, the one in Visakhapatnam has manufactured a portable system that can supply oxygen to six people at a time.
India has so far seen 50 deaths and over 1,700 positive cases of Covid-19.
The 285-year-old dockyard in Mumbai, of the Western Naval Command, has an average influx of 20,000 people every day. In view of the pandemic, initial screening of those entering the premises has become essential to prevent the spread of Covid-19 within the yard and the Western Fleet.
The most preliminary way to screen a probable Covid-19 patient is by checking their body temperature.
In a statement, the Navy has said that the decision to develop hand-held sensors was taken to overcome the scarcity of temperature guns and their higher price in the market due to the pandemic.
The hand-held thermometer developed by the Navy, which has an accuracy of 0.02 degree Celsius, was manufactured for less than Rs 1,000 using in-house resources. A statement by the Indian Navy also noted that the dockyard has the capability to scale up production of the temperature guns if required.
The price of temperature guns in the market start at Rs 3,000 with the more sophisticated ones costing around Rs 30,000.
The hand-held thermometre is expected to reduce the load on security guards at the gate of the Mumbai dockyard.
Oxygen supply system
Personnel from the Visakhapatnam Naval Dockyard have developed a ‘Portable Multi-feed Oxygen Manifold’ which can supply oxygen to multiple patients. Covid-19 is known to affect the respiratory system of patients.
The instrument fits into a single cylinder and can supply oxygen to six patients simultaneously from one bottle. A typical oxygen providing facility at hospitals comprises of an oxygen cylinder feeding only one patient through a Ventimask arrangement.
The preliminary trials of the Portable Multi-feed Oxygen Manifold were conducted at the dockyard in Visakhapatnam. It was followed by rapid trails at the Naval Hospital INHS Kalyani during which the portable instrument was set-up in 30 minutes.
Following these successful trials, the Visakhapatnam dockyard has now begun manufacture of 10 such devices.
While the Union health ministry’s data shows there are 8,432 ventilators in the public sector in India, Chennai-based medical device maker Trivitron Healthcare has said that there were about 40,000 ventilators across the country — mostly in the private sector.