IIT Delhi startup launches N95 masks
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi researchers have developed a web-based dashboard called PRACRITI (Prediction and Assessment of CoRona Infections and Transmission in India). In a statement, the institute said the dashboard can predict the spread of COVID-19 and give state-wise and district-wise detailed predictions. The projections are given for a three-week period, which is updated on a weekly basis.
The dashboard, if successfully implemented, could help to efficiently plan for different future scenarios and resource allocation, claims IIT-Delhi.
PRACRITI provides the number of infected cases of each district and state in India based on the data available from sources such as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and World Health Organisation (WHO), claims the institute.
The research is led by Prof NM Anoop Krishnan, in collaboration with Prof Hariprasad Kodamana and a team of volunteers from IIT Delhi.
Prof Krishnan, Civil Engineering Dept, IIT Delhi said, “Getting the district-wise data is crucial as this will enable authorities to know the exact rate of spread in India locally.” The predictions in the dashboard are based on a newly developed mathematical model that divides the population into four classes — susceptible, exposed, infected, and removed, informed IIT.
In another development, IIT Delhi startup has launched N95 masks for ₹45, a fraction of the prevailing prices.
According to an IIT-Delhi statement, the ‘Kawach’ mask is at par with the N95 mask ineffectiveness.
“The mask is at par with N95 in terms of proper fitting, and engineered filtration layer that could provide up to 98 per cent filtration efficiency,” IIT Delhi said adding that the price is affordable so that it can reach masses for enhanced protection.
The product efficiency is backed with the strong technical inputs from the core textile team in the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering, IIT-D.
Prof Bipin Kumar of the Textile and Fiber Engineering Department, IIT-D, said, “India has several massive challenges ahead – disposal of PPEs (including mask and coveralls) after one-time use and ensuring the minimum use of non-woven technology for PPEs. The ‘Kawach’ mask is a result of our indigenous manufacturing capabilities.”
Mentored by professors at the department of textile and fibre engineering, the startup said it is ready to supply the mask, named Kawach, provided each order is for 100 units or above.
IIT said that the team is now scouting for funding to scale up production to meet high-volume demand and reworking on a N95 mask product that can be washed and reused.
The team is also exploring other textile technologies for developing coveralls and seeking funding support to scale up.