Indian Navy designs low-cost, breathable PPE to battle coronavirus

In a major step towards rapid mass production of personal protective equipment (PPE), essential armoury for frontline warriors in the coronavirus pandemic, the innovation cell at the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM), Mumbai, has designed a new, low-cost and breathable PPE suit for healthcare providers.

Developed by researchers and doctors of the Indian Navy posted at the Mumbai facility, a pilot batch of PPE has already been produced at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. Made of a special fabric which affords a high level of protection as well as ‘breathability’, compared to other such kits currently in the market, it is more suitable for use in the hot and humid weather conditions as prevalent in India. The technology has also been tested and validated by the Indian Council of Medical Research-approved Testing Labs. In March, when the shortage of PPE kits across the nation became evident, various fabrics were tested.On Thursday, a patent was successfully filed by the Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC) of ministry of defence, in association with the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an enterprise under the minstry of science and technology.Meanwhile, an affiliated team of the Indian Navy, the Indian Plastic Forming Company (IPFC) and the NRDC, is working on beginning mass production of the low-cost PPE, since as the Navy does not have adequate facilities for mass production.The NRDC is also identifying eligible firms to fast-track licensed production of the PPE.

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