As many as 850 oxygen plants are being set up in various districts from the PM Cares Fund, DRDO chief C Satheesh Reddy said Monday, as India emerges from the second wave of coronavirus which caused a major medical oxygen crisis across the country. Reddy highlighted during the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Discourse Series’ by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) that the DRDO was prepared to provide all kinds of support including more “flying hospitals” when the need arises in the fight against coronavirus, a DST statement said.
“We established temporary hospitals specific to COVID-19 in many cities (during the second wave). These are modular hospitals, we call it flying hospitals, and these have been made in a way that the virus does not go out of hospitals,” he said.
“If there is any third wave, all the hospitals will be taking the load, and the government is discussing these aspects with various stakeholders,” Reddy said.
During the peak of the second wave of coronavirus in April and May, India reported a severe medical oxygen supply crisis with hospitals in several parts of the country running short of the gas due to a heightened demand.
“A total of 850 oxygen plants are being set up in various districts of the country from PM Cares Fund for catering to the needs of the country to fight the pandemic COVID-19,” said Reddy, according to the DST statement.
He also underlined how the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) is primarily carrying out research in advanced technology in defence, while also concentrating on developing low cost but high-quality technology for the benefit of people.
DST Secretary Ashutosh Sharma talked about various steps taken by the Centre and the DST to fight the coronavirus pandemic and how to keep vaccines safe and to ensure they reach every nook and corner of the country.
He also spoke about ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) could play a greater role in fighting the pandemic.
“Technologies have been developed for storing and transporting vaccines to every nook and corner of the country. New ways of storing vaccines have been developed as per the Indian conditions.
“Convergence of technologies is the future, and AI can play a great role in diagnostics, telemedicine and will have tremendous importance in remote monitoring, diagnostics and decision-making in fighting pandemic,” Sharma said.