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Govt seeks tech-based proposals from Indian firms to curb Covid-19 pandemic

The proposals have to be submitted on or before March 27

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

FILE PHOTO: People wear protective masks in view of coronavirus pandemic at Gateway of India in Mumbai | PTI photo

The Technology Development Board (TDB), a body under the Department of Science & Technology, has invited proposal from to address protection and home-based respiratory intervention for Covid-19 patients, DST Secretary Ashutosh Sharma said on Sunday.

The proposal may include technologically innovative solutions like low-cost masks, cost-effective scanning devices, technologies for sanitisation of large areas as well as for contactless entry, rapid diagnostic kits and oxygenators, and ventilators.

Sharma said the DST is looking at low-cost masks which can capture virus from the air and absorb respiratory droplets, cost-effective thermal scanning, large area sanitisation and sterilisation (including electrostatic spray and Ultra Violet treatment for various available surfaces like glass, ceramic, wood, textile).

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He said the DST is also looking at bioinformatics and surveillance, rapid and accurate diagnosis kit (paper-based and other point of care devices), Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IOT) solution for contact-less entry, low cost and portable oxygenators and ventilators (low-cost and portable).

"The TDB Board provides financial assistance by means of soft loans (up to 50 per cent of project cost at 5 per cent simple interest per annum, equity participation (up to a maximum of 25 per cent of the project cost) or grant in exceptional cases, for encouraging the commercial application of indigenously developed technology and for adapting imported technology to wider domestic application," a statement said.

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The proposals have to be submitted on or before March 27. On the other hand, several start-ups are also coming up with technology-driven solutions to identify cases and help the government track the movement of those who have been tested positive.

For example, Bengaluru-based Healthtech start-up Mfine has rolled out a assessment feature which enables virtual medical consultation to assess patients who have flu-like symptoms.

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Healthcare company Portea has developed a chatbot called Cobot-19 which will disseminate information related to

Bajaj Allianz too has rolled out an app with the Social Trackback feature, which is designed to help individuals maintain a real-time database of the people they have interacted in-person. The company claims this will help authorities track the details in case a user has been tested positive for the novel virus.

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 11:36 IST