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Augmenting its role in India’s fight against COVID-19, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has designed a full-body disinfection chamber and a special face protection mask for healthcare professionals, officials said on Saturday.

The special chamber called ‘PSE’ has been designed by Vehicle Research Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar, a DRDO Laboratory.

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The walk through the enclosure is designed for personnel decontamination, one person at a time. Officials said it is a portable system equipped with a sanitizer and soap dispenser.

The decontamination is started using a foot pedal at the entry. On entering the chamber, the electrically-operated pump creates a disinfectant mist of hypo sodium chloride for disinfecting, the DRDO said in a statement.

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The mist spray is calibrated for the operation of 25 seconds and stops automatically, indicating completion of the operation. As per procedure, it said that personnel undergoing disinfection will need to keep their eyes closed while inside the chamber.

The system consists of roof-mounted and bottom tanks with a total of 700 liters capacity. Approximately 650 personnel can pass through the chamber for disinfection until the refill is required, the DRDO said.

It added that the system has see-through glass panels on sidewalls for monitoring purposes and is fitted with lights for illumination during nighttime operations.

This system can be used for disinfection of personnel at the areas of controlled ingress and egress such as entry and exit to hospitals, malls, office buildings, and critical installations, officials said.

Also, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad, and Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Chandigarh, have developed face protection mask for healthcare professionals handling COVID-19 patients, the DRDO added.

Its lightweight construction makes it convenient for comfortable wear for a long duration. It said that this design uses commonly available A4 size Over-Head Projection (OHP) film for face protection.

One thousand face shields are being produced daily in TBRL and provided to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, it said.

Similarly, 100 are produced at RCI and these have been handed over to Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Hyderabad. A demand for 10,000 shields has been received from PGIMER and ESIC hospitals based on successful user trials, the DRDO added.

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