As the first-responders and frontline warriors in the battle against coronavirus are at maximum risk of contracting the deadly infection, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a bio-suit to keep safe medical, paramedical and other personnel engaged in containing the pandemic.
"Scientists at various DRDO laboratories have applied their technical know-how and expertise in textile, coating and nanotechnology to develop the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) having a specific type of fabric with coating," read a statement.
The bio-suit has been subjected to rigorous testing and exceeds the standards set for body suits by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
"DRDO is making all efforts to ensure that these suits are produced in large numbers and serve as a robust line of defence for the medics, paramedics and other personnel in the front line combating COVID-19," the statement said.
DRDO is aiming to start mass production of the suits to aid the people who are at the forefront of the battle and has already identified companies to assist with production. Kusumgarh Industries is producing the raw material and coating material, with the complete suit being manufactured with the help of another vendor.
The current production capacity is 7,000 suits per day. Another vendor is being brought in with the experience in garment technology and efforts are on to ramp up the capacity to 15,000 suits per day. However, as per the DRDO's statement, the production is being hampered due to the non-availability of seam sealing tapes and now DRDO is using an alternative to manufacture the suits.
"The DRDO has prepared a special sealant as an alternative to seam sealing tape based on the sealant used in submarine applications. Presently, bio suits prepared using this glue for seam sealing by an industry partner has cleared test at Southern India Textile Research Association (SITRA) Coimbatore," statement said.
"This can be a game-changer for the textile industry. The DRDO can mass produce this glue through the industry to support the seam sealing activity by suit manufacturers," the statement added.