Anticipating surge in demand for ventilators as coronavirus cases spike, Kerala-government owned company is preparing for commercial production of the country's cheapest emergency ventilator for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The non-invasive ventilator to be produced by Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (KSDP) could be priced in the range of Rs 7,500-8,000, compared to currently available lowest-priced ventilator at around Rs 15,000, as per a report by The Financial Express.
The company is expecting to start production of ventilators by July-end after getting approval from Kerala Government and ICMR.
The ventilator to be produced by the KSDP is based on a model developed by NIT Calicut. The Kozhikode-based public technical university has inked a technology transfer pact with KSDP.
"We expect to go into production by July-end, provided we get go-aheads from Kerala Government and from ICMR. The prototype by NIT researchers, had been vetted and validated by doctors at Calicut Medical College," the leading daily quoted CM Chandrababu, Chairman, Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (KSDP), as saying.
As per the report, the approval for commercial production of ventilators is unlikely to be delayed, given the shortage of this life supporting device in India.
The state-owned enterprise has already established its plant for ventilators. The current capacity of the plant is to produce 200 ventilators per month, but the company is confident of scaling up for supply to the national market, once it gets the ICMR nod.
Though this life supporting device is not a substitute for the mechanical invasive ventilator, but it is portable and can be used for COVID-19 treatment.
"The exhaled air of Covid-19 patient, using the conventional non-invasive ventilator, would be infected. In the model that we developed, the exhaled air is bubbled through soap solution to disinfect it, before releasing to the atmosphere," Sajith Vandana, Head, School of Materials Science and Engineering (SMSE), NIT Calicut told the daily.
With coronavirus rapidly spreading in the country, the central government last month cleared a proposal to allow state-owned Bharat Electronics to manufacture 30,000 ventilators in the next two months in collaboration with local manufacturers. Besides, many automobile makers like Maruti, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Hyundai India have also been asked to manufacture ventilators at their respective facilities.