The government on Wednesday approved the procurement of 1,50,000 units of ‘Oxycare’ system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to help in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Oxycare is an oxygen supply system based on SpO2 (oxygen saturation) level. The DRDO has already transferred the technology to multiple industries in India for large-scale production of the Oxycare system.
The ‘Oxycare’ systems will be procured for Rs 322.5 crore using the PM-Cares Fund, according to the defence ministry.
“PM-Cares Fund has accorded sanction for procurement of 1,50,000 units of ‘Oxycare’ system developed by the DRDO at a cost of Rs 322.5 crore," it said.
The ministry said 1,00,000 manual and 50,000 automatic Oxycare systems are being procured.
“The Oxycare system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents a person from sinking into a state of hypoxia which can be fatal," the ministry said in a statement.
Oxycare was developed by the DRDO’s Bengaluru-based Defence Bio-Engineering and Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL) for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas.
“The system is indigenously developed for operation in field conditions and is robust. It can be effectively used to treat COVID-19 patients," the ministry said.
It said the variants of the system have been configured.
“The basic version consists of a 10-litre oxygen cylinder, a pressure regulator cum flow controller, a humidifier and a nasal cannula. The oxygen flow is regulated manually based on the SpO2 readings," the ministry said.
“In the second configuration, the oxygen cylinder is equipped with electronic controls which automatically regulate the oxygen flow through a low-pressure regulator and an SpO2 probe," it said.
Various parts of India have been ravaged by a devastating second wave of coronavirus pandemic. One of the most common complications being faced by the COVID-19 patients has been a drop in oxygen levels.
The huge surge in coronavirus cases has triggered a shortage of medical oxygen across the country.