Various companies are now helping in various ways to deal with the impact of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. India, where a nationwide lockdown is in force, is believed to need thousands of respiratory aids as the number of people with COVID-19 is increasing every day.
After an appeal from the government, Maruti Suzuki, the biggest carmaker in India, has plans to help the production of ventilators, masks, and protective equipment for health workers. In collaboration with AgVa Healthcare, Suzuki is targeting production to reach 20,000 units every month.
In the production line, AgVa Healthcare is responsible for technology, performance, and all matters related to the ventilator produced, while Suzuki will use their network to increase the volume of components needed and maintain quality by using high control.
The manufacturers say, the AgVa portable ventilator, which weighs just 3.5 kilos (7.7 pounds), will help move less critical patients back to their homes as their machine is easy to transport and install, and needs low power. This toaster-sized ventilator will be priced at around $2,000, which is a fraction of the price of conventional ventilators, which go for more than $10,000.
Maruti Suzuki Chairman, RC Bhargava, explained that Corona or COVID-19 is an urgent problem, and the world is struggling against this. Therefore, the company will do a little help, such as making a ventilator. In addition, Suzuki will also help manage capital and get permission to allow for more ventilator production.
Not only ventilators, but the joint venture MSIL will also collaborate with Suzuki to make 3-layer masks. To be produced in the near future, the masks will be supplied by the central government. Protective clothing is also included in the production list. Regarding worker safety, the company will provide maximum protection in accordance with the government’s recommendation.
India has also ordered 10,000 units from China, but that number is small compared to estimated future needs. Engineers at NOCCA Robotics Private Limited, a start-up in Pune, are developing a ventilator that can be purchased for 50,000 rupees (about $660). In the first five days alone, the seven young engineers had produced three portable ventilator prototypes.
The three prototypes are still in the testing stage using an artificial lung, a special device that can supply oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the blood. They are targeting the new ventilator to be tested in real patients after government approval on 7 April, reports BBC News.