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Indian Innovations: A Saviour In Pandemic


"Necessity is the mother of invention"

In the current pandemic situation, we are replacing our basic necessity with the need to eradicate Covid 19. The world is fighting against it, including my country.  India may not have resources and technology like other first-world countries, but we are a brave nation. With the spread of coronavirus globally, the import and export of our nation's produce ceased. Medical resources are scarce. India started researching different aspects of Covid 19. Many researchers and scientists failed, but they never lost hope, resulting in several inventions and innovations that are a savior for humankind.

Here are a few of them.

  • 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG)

In collaboration with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories in Hyderabad, the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Science (INMAS), a lab under the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), developed a drug. The Drug Controller General of India granted permission to use  2-deoxy-D-glucose in an emergency to supplement for moderate to severe corona-affected patients. It comes in sachets in powder form, which is suggested to be taken orally by dissolving in water. It selectively accumulates in the virus-affected cell and stops the viral synthesis and energy production. This process makes 2-DG unique.

  • Cov-Tech Ventilation System

Nihaal with his mother

Nihaal Singh Adarsh, a second-year engineering student, realized the need for a ventilation system in the PPE kit after watching her mother going through hard times treating covid-19 patients. Dr. Ulhas Karul of the National Chemical Laboratory assisted Nihal and developed a prototype ventilation system. The device got recognition from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Cov-Tech ventilation system is a wearable belt-like device for the PPE kit, creating a stable airflow. Generally, it is hot and humid within the PPE suit due to a lack of ventilation. Ensuring a complete air seal this ventilation system filters the surrounding air and pushes it into the PPE suit. The device gets its power from a lithium-ion battery which lasts up to 6-8 hours. The market price of this project is ₹5499, a way cheaper than other competitive products. It cost around 1 lakh per piece.

  • CoviSelf

An Indian-based molecular company, MyLab Discovery Solutions, created a testing kit called CoviSelf, India's first self-testing kit for Covid-19. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) certified this self-testing kit. It is a rapid antigen test using a nasal swab sample to test for the virus, providing results within 15 minutes. While the RT-PCR costs between ₹400-₹1,500 and rapid antigen test in laboratories costs around ₹300-900, this testing kit comes for ₹250. 

According to Asaid Sujit Jain, director of MyLab Discovery Solutions, "This easy-to-use test kit combines with MyLab's AI-powered mobile app so that a user can know his/her positive status, submit the result to ICMR directly for traceability and know what to do next in either result,"

  • Aarogya Setu

When India was facing a nationwide lockdown for the first time due to the pandemic, the government of India launched the Aarogya Setu, a digital service mobile app developed by the National Informatics Centre, which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The main objective to create this application was to "contact tracing, syndromic mapping and self-assessment " against the Covid-19 virus. To determine if the user is near a covid-19 affected person or in a hotspot zone, the app uses GPS and Bluetooth. Privacy of the user is maintained while accessing the location of the user. An enrolled user can see his/her vaccination status in the app.

  • GoK- Kerala Direct

All Indians can not afford smartphones even if they can, the ability to use a smartphone sounds complex to the elders. The state government of Kerala launched an app called GoK Kerala Direct, developed by QKopy. Covid-19 updates and travel information are conveyed via phone notification and via SMS service to the older phones. The app uses Malayalam, the local language, and English to deliver the information to the users.

  • Oxygen Recycling System (ORS)

An Oxygen Recycling System has been conceptualized and designed by the Diving School of the Southern Naval Command to reduce the current shortage of oxygen. Few additional modifications were recommended by the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology of Thiruvananthapuram, to the prototype developed by Lieutenant Commander Mayank Sharma. An only a small percentage of oxygen, inhaled by patients, is absorbed by the lungs. The rest is exhaled into the atmosphere along with carbon dioxide generated by the body. This aspect of the human respiratory system is used to extend the life of the existing oxygen cylinder by two to four times. This prototype costs around ₹10,000, saving ₹3,000 per day by recycling oxygen.

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