The Defence Research Development Organisation has developed a prototype ventilator that can be used for multiple patients, its chief Satheesh Reddy said on Monday, amid a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
He added the model is being improved to include changes suggested by medical researchers and doctors and the new version should be ready by next week.
"We are attempting to take the output of one ventilator. The mechanism makes it usable for multiple patients. We have developed the first model. We have seen it is working. There are some medical researchers, doctors who have advised us to incorporate features. We are working on it," he said.
Reddy said this is a “last-minute resort” if the number of coronavirus patients increases and there is shortage of ventilators.
“By next week it should be ready with the suggestions made by the doctors and medical researchers,” he said.
The DRDO has prepared ventilator designs in the past and passed it on to the industry.
Separately, the Ministry of Health said the DRDO will begin manufacturing 20,000 N-95 masks per day from next week.
The ministry has also asked the Bharat Electronics Ltd, a public-sector undertaking under the Ministry of Defence, to manufacture 30,000 ventilators in next two months.
Among private players, Agva Healthcare, Noida, has been given an order to manufacture 10,000 ventilators within a month. Their supplies are expected to commence in the second week of April, the ministry said in a tweet.