Defence PSUs, OFB ramp up their resources to fight COVID-19 pandemic
Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have played their part in assisting civilian administration in fight against COVID-19 pandemic. These vital institutions of Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence have channelised all their resources, technical knowhow and manpower to help the nation mitigate the deadly virus. Following are some of the fruits of the efforts put in by scientists and personnel of DPSUs and OFB.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Bengaluru, a Defence PSU has set up isolation ward facility with three beds in Intensive Care Unit and 30 beds in wards. In addition, a building having 30 rooms was readied. In all, 93 persons can be accommodated at HAL facility. HAL has manufactured and distributed 25 PPEs to Doctors in various Hospitals in Bangalore which 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.
Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) has come forward on the directions of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) to manufacture and supply 30,000 ventilators within two months for ICUs in the country. The design of these ventilators was originally developed by DRDO, which was improved upon by M/s Skanray, Mysore, with whom BEL has collaborated. BEL is likely to start manufacturing of ventilators between April 20-24, 2020. As per tentative schedule, BEL is expected to manufacture 5,000 units in April, 10,000 in May and 15,000 in June 2020. It is also making efforts to indigenise these components with the help of DRDO.
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is developing a prototype of ventilator which is likely to be tested and certified by 1st week of May before it starts of with manufacturing. It is working on this project with the help of a private start-up of Pune.
Five Ordnance Equipment Group of factories located at Kanpur, Shahjahanpur, Hazratpur (Firozabad) and Chennai are engaged in manufacturing of coveralls. Present production rate is 800 per day. Efforts are on to ramp up to a level of 1,500 per day. 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.
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has also manufactured 5,870 PPEs which have been distributed to HLL, CMO, Firozabad besides its own hospitals in Ordnance Factories.
Factories Board has also developed special two-metre tents which can be used for medical emergency, screening, hospital triage and quarantine purposes. These are made up of waterproof fabric, mild steel and aluminium alloy. Supplies have already started.