The primary mission of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is to develop cutting-edge rockets, nuclear missiles, and ballistic missile submarines. However, the raging pandemic in India has forced the organization to shift its attention from missile testing to saving the lives of Covid-affected Indians.
To assist those who need specialized medical treatment as a result of Covid-19, the organization has set up temporary clinics with negative pressure tents. The hospital infrastructure requirements for ICU beds, oxygen beds, and regular beds were established in collaboration with the state health authorities.
The DRDO stated that the equipment for Covid-19 treatment is given in accordance with established requirements. The equipment is maintained and upheld around the clock at a time when the spread of Covid-19 has resulted in lockdown-like situations in many states, according to the statement.
The DRDO has established nine hospitals for Covid-19 in cities such as Delhi, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Gandhi Nagar, Haldwani, Rishikesh, Jammu, and Srinagar. The Dhanvantri Covid Care Hospital in Gandhi Nagar is the largest, with 700 oxygen beds and 200 ICU beds. There are 500 ICU beds in Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre in Delhi.
The DRDO has also requested that oxygen generation plants be installed in various hospitals across the country. These oxygen plants, according to the organization, can produce up to 1,000 liters of oxygen per minute, which can serve up to 190 patients. These plants have the capacity to charge 195 cylinders a day.
The first two oxygen plants arrived in Delhi on May 6 and were turned on at AIIMS and Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospitals in the district, according to the research organization. The next three plants will be built at Lady Hardinge Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital, and AIIMS in Jhajjar when they arrive in Delhi.
How DRDO helps?
The DRDO has also taken steps to enlist more business partners. It is to increase the development of medical oxygen plants with lower capacity for smaller hospitals.
DRDO also developed its own oxygen supply system based on SpO2 (oxygen saturation) levels to improve oxygen production even further. Oxycare is a system that comes in two versions: manual and automatic. It was created by the Defence Bio-Engineering and Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL) of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in Bengaluru for soldiers stationed in extremely high-altitude areas.
The government approved the purchase of 1,50,000 units of the ‘Oxycare’ device on Wednesday. The technology has already been transferred to multiple Indian industries for large-scale development of the device by the DRDO.
Aside from that, the DRDO’s safety testing laboratory has donated more than 100 large cylinders with a capacity of 1,200 liters to hospitals. One of the DRDO’s labs has developed a 2-deoxy-D-glucose anti-Covid-19 therapeutic application (2-DG). The findings of clinical trials indicate that this molecule aids in the quicker recovery of hospitalized patients and decreases suicidality.
After successful phase 3 trials, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the drug for emergency use. That is instead of therapy in moderate to extreme Covid-19 patients on May 1. The medication comes in powder form in a sachet that must be dissolved in water before being taken orally.