Asia - Pacific

India builds new devices to fight novel coronavirus

Ultraviolet guns, disinfectant drones, air evacuation pods, added to Indian military's repertoire against COVID-19

Cheena Kapoor  | 17.04.2020 - Update : 17.04.2020
India builds new devices to fight novel coronavirus


As part of India's fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, the country's military has begun using drones and guns shooting ultraviolet light to help stop the spread of the virus.

Among the latest innovations against the virus, the country's military Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (EME) Corps developed a quadcopter fitted with up to five liters (1.3 gallons) of disinfectants that can sanitize an area the size of a football field in less than five minutes.

Along with this, an EME workshop in the capital Delhi built devices that emit ultraviolet light that kills any pathogens it hits in seconds.

Rolling out the new tools to fight the pandemic, the EME Corps said the drones could be used at an elevation of 6,000 feet with an effective spray range of 10 meters (33 feet), their compact design making for convenient use. They will cost around $9,771 per unit, according to weekly news magazine The Week.

- COVID-19 evacuation pods

The Indian Navy has also developed an air evacuation pod for coronavirus patients that keep keeps pilots and other passengers safe from infection.

"It is an indigenous capsule created by the Naval Craft Yard and the medical specialists from Indian Navy's Southern Command in Kochi," said Navy spokesman Sridhar Warrier.

"The pod is made of aluminum and weighs 32 kilograms [70.5 pounds]. It costs $650, while the international pods cost $76,832. Thus, less than 1% cost," he told Anadolu Agency.

Explaining that trials of the pod were conducted on Dornier utility aircraft, Warrier said 12 of the pods had been manufactured so far to be used by the navy for evacuations.

"The pod does not require any sanitization of the aircraft after the evacuation," he underlined.

The Indian Navy also developed 25 portable multi-feed oxygen manifolds (MOM) at its Dockyard at Vizag in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The portable feeder will help enable the supply of oxygen to six patients at a time.

According to a statement from the country's Defense Ministry, the device uses an industrial six-way radial header to enable one jumbo size oxygen bottle to supply oxygen to six patients at the same time.

While five sets have been delivered, 20 are planned to be supplied gradually within the next two weeks, read the statement.

India reported a total of 13,495 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 448 deaths as the country of around 1.3 billion in population is observing a nationwide lockdown.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world. Europe and the U.S. are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed over 147,600 people, with total infections exceeding 2.18 million, while more than 556,700 have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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