Rising to the occasion in this hour of crisis, a group of volunteers and start-ups operating under Venture Centre have designed and developed face shields, which will be distributed to health workers and police personnel in the city.
Priced at Rs 25, each face shield is made of readily available OHP sheets, MDF sheets and elastic bands, making it suitable to be worn by all.
“We have been working round-the-clock for the last three days. So far, we have distributed 300 face shields to the Pune Police. They have asked for an additional 3,000 shields,” said Sujaya Ingale, who is co-ordinating the production at Vencture Centure, supported by CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory.
At a time when medical practitioners have strongly advised people to use hand sanitisers, wash their hands frequently and desist from unnecessarily touching one’s face, eyes or nose, the advantage of this shield is that it protects the entire face, said its makers.
On Friday, the teams dispatched some shields to medical teams operating at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Noble Hospital, Jehangir Hospital and Sahyadri Hospital. In the last two days, the team has sent out over 350 shields.
When asked if there are separate shield designs for police and medical teams, since they face different kinds of risks, Ingale said, “At present, all shields have the same design. Since we will deliver the shields at hospitals on Friday, any specific needs that arise will be taken into consideration.”
The current shields are not meant to be washed and can be easily disposed of. However, the team recommends replacement if the shield is subjected to any extreme exposure, like flash or similar lights.
“The replacement of the shields depends on the exposure and usage,” said Ingale.
The Venture Centre is also trying to develop re-usable N95 face masks, demand for which has sky rocketed in the last few weeks. To meet the demand, many households and local tailors have started stitching masks.
“Along with face shields and masks, we are working on multiple other products including non-contact thermometer and low-cost ventilator…,” said Ingale.
The centre has pooled in some of its resources and received CSR funds, but it has appealed for more support.
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