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Coronavirus pandemic | Indian manufacturers need to make over 1 lakh ventilators urgently

Due to COVID-19, manufacturers have been told to produce around 1,00,000 to 120,000 ventilators urgently; India has about 50,000 ventilators at present

April 01, 2020 / 02:17 PM IST
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Representative image

As the number of coronavirus cases in India continues to rise, the demand for ventilators has increased manifold. The Centre has stepped up demand for the machine, asking local manufacturers to adopt a hammer-and-tongs approach.

Notably, in most countries, ventilators are being made indigenously as exports have been banned. However, the unavailability of machine components has turned out to be a major bottleneck for Indian ventilator manufacturers.

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COVID-19 is known to cause severe respiratory distress among patients and a Business Standard report states that ventilators help in reducing the distress and lower the mortality rate significantly too.

Those aware of the medical devices business have informed that the demand for ventilators is never too high, requiring some 7,000 units usually. But, due to COVID-19, manufacturers have been told to produce around 1,00,000 to 120,000 ventilators urgently; India has about 50,000 ventilators at present.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Coronavirus pandemic | How does COVID-19 compare to other pandemics, outbreaks? 

Meanwhile, the Centre has also urged automobile manufacturers to use the facilities at their disposal to manufacture ventilators on a war footing. Aside from that, the Union Health Ministry has directed the public sector undertaking Bharat Electronics (BEL) to collaborate with local manufacturers and deliver 30,000 ventilators within the next two months.

Skanray Technologies — a Mysuru-based firm — has joined hands with car maker Mahindra & Mahindra to augment their capacity to produce ventilators.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 1, 2020 02:17 pm

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