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Defence PSUs, OFB pitch in to fight against COVID-19

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) As the country battles against the coronavirus, the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) of the Ministry of Defence have pitched in for support in manufacture and supply of ventilators, sanitisers and protective equipment.

In an official statement, the Ministry says the OFB has planned for 280 isolation beds across ten hospitals spread over six states in the country.

They are located at Vehicle Factory Jabalpur, Metal and Steel Factory Ishapore (West Bangal), Gun and Shell Factory Cossipore (West Bangal), Ammunition Factory Khadki (Maharashtra), Ordnance Factory Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Ordnance Factory Khamaria, Heavy Vehicle Factory Avadi (Tamil Nadu) and Ordnance Factory Medak (Telangana), it says.A

TheAHindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru has isolation ward facility with three beds in Intensive Care Unit and 30 beds in wards.A

“In addition, a building having 30 rooms was readied. In all, 93 persons can be accommodated at the HAL facility,” it says.

The OFB has manufactured and dispatched 50 specialised tents for COVID-19 patients to the Arunachal PradeshAGovernment as well.

TheABharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has stepped in at the request of Ministry Health and Family Welfare to manufacture and supply 30,000 ventilators for ICUs within the next two months.

“The design of these ventilators was originally developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, which was improved upon by M/s Skanray, Mysore, with whom BEL has collaborated. Ordnance Factory, Medak has undertaken repair of ventilators in various hospitals in Hyderabad.”

TheAdevelopment and production of hand sanitiser as per WHO standards have been undertaken in the factories of OFB.

They have received a requirement of 13,000 litres from HLL Lifecare Limited — the nodal agency appointed by the Centre for centralised procurement.

“First lot of 1,500 litres of sanitiser was sent on March 31 from Cordite Factory Aruvankadu (Tamil Nadu),” it says

Two more factories — Ordnance Factory, Itarsi (Madhya Pradesh) and OF Bhandara (Maharashtra) — are ready with bulk production.

“Together they have capacity to produce 3,000 litres of sanitiser per day to meet the national requirement.”

For the Protective Equipment, which are most in demand since the outbreak of the infection and also after several doctors have tested positive for the coronavirus, Ordnance Equipment Factories located at Kanpur, Shahjahanpur, Hazratpur (Firozabad) and Chennai are engaged in developing coverall and masks.

“They have also arranged special heat sealing machines for manufacture of these garments at a very short notice,” it says.

The statement says the Factories Board requested Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior and was successful in getting the first of samples of coveralls tested at Gwalior.A

Testing of masks will continue to be done at South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) in Coimbatore.

“The OFB is commencing shortly bulk production of coveralls up to 5,000 to 6,000 pieces per week. Three machines have been developed which have been approved by SITRA for testing the efficacy of coveralls and masks. These will be used in production to maintain the standards,” the Ministry added.

–IANS

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