Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh on Friday said that the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Department of Atomic Energy are supplementing the country's fight against the pandemic by providing COVID related equipment and technology.
In an online review meeting with senior officials of the Department, the Minister lauded the initiatives for public welfare during COVID-19. Jitendra Singh said that the development of a protocol for sterilization of PPE kits using cobalt has the potential for re-use of PPE kits.
Singh was informed by the officials that 25 percent of beds numbering about 600 have been reserved for cancer patients infected by COVID in all Tata Memorial Hospitals. Around 5,000 Oxygen Concentrators of 6 LPM are being received by the Tata Memorial Centre as donation from abroad and most of it will be diverted to other cancer hospitals of the country.
Similar is the development of N-99 masks using HEPA filter technology. The Minister said this mask is better than N-95 and the N-99 masks have already been certified by three independent laboratories. He said the technology has been transferred for mass scale production as it is both durable and cheaper than N-95 masks.
Singh said that the Department of Atomic Energy also successfully developed reagents for RT-PCR testing, besides powered respirators, Reefer, Portable Plasma sterilization and plasma incineration technology for medical waste.
He informed that a "Surveillance Study for COVID-19" is presently underway in collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital to determine the genetic susceptibility for the severity of COVID-19. The Minister described this as a unique and one of the rarest studies happening in the world, the results of which will be shared with the global scientific community very soon. Moreover, a study is also underway to find out about the oral signs which can predict the severity of COVID-19.
Recalling the launch of COVID BEEP in June last year, Jitendra Singh said the system developed by DAE in collaboration with IIT Hyderabad and ESIC Medical College Hyderabad was India's first indigenous, cost effective, wireless physiological parameters monitoring system for COVID-19 patients.
He said the COVID BEEP is a perfect example of how synergy amongst the reputed institutes of India can offer solutions to most of the challenges faced by the country with minimum cost and thereby make the country 'Atmanirbhar' in the true sense.
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