New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is reportedly testing on three ventilators models developed by it to help ease the crisis over the availability of medical oxygen for covid-19 patients.
In May 2020, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thumba under Isro had unveiled three ventilator models. Of these, two are undergoing tests. Isro also procures liquid oxygen from the industry for its cryogenic engines.
“We started working on ventilators last year when the covid-19 cases pandemic hit the country. But later on, the work on ventilators slowed down because the covid-19 cases started going down. Our ventilator machines are undergoing clinical trials, which may take some time. But with the current scenario, we will expedite the trials for making these ventilators available as soon as possible,” said a senior scientist at VSSC, requesting anonymity.
The government had recently turned to ISRO for help as fatalities mounted in hospitals due to the lack of oxygen supplies. “The government has reached out to Isro. The biggest problem is shortage of oxygen, which is more of a logistics issue. Isro itself procures oxygen from the industry whenever it needs it. We are trying to figure out how we can help the central government in this area,” said a senior official in department of space, who also did not want to be named.
However, senior officials at the Union ministry of health and family welfare did not immediately comment on the development.
ISRO is providing geospatial tools and location-based solutions including a national-level covid tracker, ‘Bhuvan-COVID-19’, developed by Isro’s National Remote Sensing Centre.
Meanwhile, Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft have been pressed into service to cut travel time for oxygen tankers.