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IIT-K offers to develop portable ventilators, cheaper testing kits

By HT Correspondent, Kanpur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 26, 2020 09:14 PM IST

Joining the fight against coronavirus, scientists of Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) have proposed to develop portable ventilators and affordable testing kits.

According to senior professor at the Bioscience and Bioengineering Department of IIT-K professor Amitabh Bandhopadhyaya the institute would be soon sending a proposal regarding the same to the Centre for approval.

“It has been observed that most corona patients died as they could not breathe due to infection and they required ventilators for respiratory support. Therefore we decided to develop portable ventilators and affordable testing kits. Since the institute is closed till March 31 there are no students to assist in the project. But our team consisting of professor Sameer Khandeka, professor Arun Saha, prof J Ramkumar and professor Vishakha Bhattacharya have already started the work,” Bandhopadhyaya said.

He said the work of developing the ventilators will be carried out in collaboration with Benagluru-based Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences and the prototype will be ready within 7 days.

Later a company floated by IIT-K alumni Nikhil Kureley and Harshit Rathore would produce 1000 portable ventilators in a month. The duo had set up NOCCA Robotics at the incubation centre here, he added.

He said since both the students were in Maharashtra efforts were being made to seek permission from the government to let them come here for the project.

“Due to lockdown the Pune team had difficulty going to their shed and fabricate it. A crowd sourcing platform setup by a group of young professionals from all parts of India called Caring Indians came forward, contacted officials at Pune and now the team secured the necessary permissions. It is a combine effort and this is the time where collaboration will succeed. Lets us hope that our effort bears fruit and we can save lives,” Bandhopadhyay said.

Director of IIT-K, prof Abhay Karandikar said, “We are making efforts with one startup incubated by IIT Kanpur which has a plant in Pune. IIT Kanpur is helping with technological aspects, mechanical aspects. We are seeking intervention from doctors.”

He said, “Prof Bandyopadhyay’s team is making an effort and we hope that some positive results will come out of it. It will be a big contribution on our part to fight back this pandemic. We are already in touch with the department of science and technology Government of India. The testing work is on during this lockdown period.”

Also, the government defence factories too have pitched in to do their bit in dealing with the deadly virus.

The government ordnance factories have decided to produce various necessary protective gears said national president of All India Defence Employees Federation SN Pathak and general secretary C Kumar.

The Ordnance Factory Avadi in Tamil Nadu and in Shahjahanpur would produce face mask while the Ordnance Factory in Kanpur would produce overall safety dress and tents.

Similarly, Ordnance Factory at Medak in Telangana will develop ventilators.

Sanitizers would be produced at defence factories in Khamaria and Itarsi in MP, Pathak said.

The process for producing necessary protective agents has begun on war footing, Pathak said.

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