Department of Atomic Energy supplementing Country’s COVID infrastructure to fight the pandemic


Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Bhabha Atomic Centre and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) are supplementing country’s fight against the pandemic by providing COVID related equipment and technology.  In an online review meeting with senior officials of the Department, the Minister lauded the initiatives for public welfare during COVID-19.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that development of protocol for sterilization of PPE kits using Cobalt source has the potential for re-use of PPE kits. Similarly, development of N-99 masks using HEPA filter technology. The Minister said, this mask is better than N-95 and N-99 masks have already been certified by three independent laboratories. He said, the technology has been transferred for mass scale production as it is both durable and cheaper than N-95 masks.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Department of Atomic Energy also successfully developed reagents for RT-PCR testing, besides powered respirators, Reefer, Portable Plasma sterilization and plasma incineration technology for medical waste.

Dr Jitendra Singh was informed by the senior officials that 25 percent of beds numbering about 600 have been reserved for cancer patients infected by COVID in all Tata Memorial Hospitals. Around 5,000 Oxygen Concentrators of 6 LPM are being received by Tata Memorial Centre, TMC as donation from abroad and most of it will be diverted to other Cancer Hospitals of the country.

Dr Jitendra Singh informed that a “Surveillance Study for Covid-19” is presently underway in Collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital- to determine the genetic susceptibility for the severity of Covid-19. The Minister described this as a unique and one of the rarest studies happening in the world, the results of which will be shared with the global scientific community very soon. Moreover, a Study is also underway to find out about the Oral signs which can predict the severity of Covid-19.

Recalling the launch of COVID BEEP in June last year, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the system developed by DAE in collaboration with IIT Hyderabad and ESIC Medical College Hyderabad was India’s first indigenous, cost effective, wireless physiological parameters monitoring system for COVID-19 patients. He said, the COVID BEEP is a perfect example of how synergy amongst the reputed institutes of India can offer solutions to most of the challenges faced by the country with minimum cost and thereby make the country Atmanirbhar in true sense.

Secretary, DAE, K. N. Vyas, CMD, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) Shri S.K Sharma, Director, BARC, Dr.A,K.Mohanty and senior officials of the Department joined the review meeting.