The Indian Navy said on Thursday a low cost personal protective equipment (PPE) developed by it has been successfully patented by the Defence Ministry in a step towards its rapid mass production amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"The low cost PPE has been developed by a doctor of Indian Navy, posted at the recently created Innovation Cell at Institute of Naval Medicine (INM), Mumbai. A pilot batch of PPEs has already been produced at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai," a statement issued by the Navy said.
India has been reeling with the PPE shortage since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, around 100 doctors and paramedic staff of the SVP hospital in Ahmedabad went on a flash strike on the issue of lack of the PPE.
The patent was filed by the Defence Ministry in association with the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an enterprise under the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Navy said.
"In a major step towards rapid mass production of the medical PPE developed by the Indian Navy, a patent has been successfully filed by the Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC) of Min of Defence, in association with National Research Development Corporation," it said.
The PPE developed by the Navy is made of a special fabric which affords a high level of protection along with "high breathability" as against other PPEs available in the market and is, therefore, more suitable for use in hot and humid weather conditions as prevalent in India, the Navy said.
It said the technology has also been tested and validated by a testing lab approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Eligible firms, the Navy said, are being identified by the NRDC for taking up licensed production of the PPEs on a fast track.
India has been under lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 78,000 persons and killed over 2,500 in the country till now.