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NCL, BEL To Produce Medical Devices For Tackling Pandemic

Mass manufacturing ready hardware and software design will be available to manufacturers across India for free

CSIR’s constituent Lab, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune, has been leading the way in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship through its Venture Centre for the past decade and new innovations from there are helping in fight against the Corona outbreak.

Two of the recent innovations that can help in the mitigation of the Corona outbreak are featured:

Digital IR Thermometer: CSIR-NCL’s Venture Centre’s incubatee BMEK headed by Pratik Kulkarni has developed hand held digital IR thermometer which is an important component of measures to mitigate Coronavirus outbreak. Mobile phone or power banks can be used as a power source. The design of IR thermometers is available open source where in the complete know-how with mass manufacturing ready hardware and software design will be available to manufacturers across India for free. This is an effort to enable a large number of manufacturers to manufacture the thermometers and cater to their local demands. Now it is being scaled up in partnership with BEL (Bharat Electronics Ltd, Pune).

About 100 prototype units will be made for pilot distribution and testing at TUV Rheinland India Pvt Ltd Bangalore.

Oxygen enrichment unit (OEU): One of the critical needs of COVID-19 patients is the need to meet the oxygen requirements due to their lungs being compromised. Oxygen enrichment unit (OEUs) to increase the oxygen concentration from the ambient air of 21-22% to 38-40% have been developed by CSIR-NCL and Genrich Membranes, a start-up innovation venture founded by Dr. Ulhas Kharul, Head of Polymer Science & Engineering Divsion at NCL. OEU is hollow fiber membrane bundles for separation and filtration of ambient air to produce enriched oxygen for patients in home and hospital settings. The prototype units are ready at Pune and will be sent to TUV Rheinland India Pvt Ltd Bangalore for testing/validation. About 10 OEU machines will be assembled by NCL, BEL in Pune and after the trials, scale up will be done.

Gujarat FDA Issues Licenses To 12 More Oxygen Manufacturers To Produce Medical Oxygen To Cater To COVID-19 patients

The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) has issued licenses to 12 more oxygen manufacturers during the lockdown period to produce medical oxygen to cater to COVID-19 patients. As of today, the state has 45 medical oxygen manufacturers catering to over 66 hospitals in the state. It had 33 manufacturers before the outbreak of COVID-19.

According to official data, Gujarat state has a total capacity of 22,689 medical oxygen cylinders per day against the requirement of 7009 cylinders. The state has availability of 5,22,830 cubic metres oxygen against the requirement of 62,860 cubic metres oxygen. “As of today, Gujarat has surplus medical oxygen and is fully equipped to cater to emergency situations. Medical oxygen is life saver for COVID-19 patients and requirement also varies as per the medical condition of the patient,” explained Gujarat FDCA Commissioner Dr H G Koshia. Dr Koshia has been appointed by the state government as the nodal officer to coordinate on the availability of medical oxygen with the hospitals, Union health ministry and medical oxygen manufacturers of the state. Supplemental oxygen therapy is a part of the clinical management of COVID-19. It is the use of oxygen as a medical treatment. This also includes supplementing oxygen for low blood oxygen, carbon monoxide toxicity, cluster headaches and to maintain enough oxygen while inhaled anesthetics are given.

He further added that all healthcare institutions in the state of Gujarat are complying with essential commodities act and not charging anything on medical oxygen.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier directed state licensing authorities (SLAs) to urgently grant permission to manufacturers of industrial oxygen to manufacture medical oxygen in the light of COVID-19 outbreak.

All India Industrial Gases Manufacturers’ Association (AIIGMA) had proposed to the DCGI to allow manufacturers of industrial oxygen to manufacture oxygen for medical use. As per the DCGI directive to SLAs, it has been decided in public interest that the premises which are having facility to manufacture industrial oxygen should be granted manufacturing license to manufacture oxygen for medical use within 24 hours of the submission of application and fees as per the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act. “An undertaking needs to be furnished in writing to manufacture medical oxygen in compliance with standards prescribed in Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) and labeling requirement as per the D&C Act and Rules. SLAs are requested to take action in public interest to grant permission to manufacturers of industrial oxygen to manufacture oxygen for medical use in light of COVID-19,” DCGI had directed.

Oxygen therapy is the single most effective supportive measure in COVID-19 patients. Children with emergency signs (obstructed or absent breathing, severe respiratory distress, central cyanosis, shock, coma or convulsions) should receive oxygen therapy during resuscitation.

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