The Naval Aircraft Yard (Kochi) under the Southern Naval Command has indigenously designed and fabricated an An Air Evacuation Pod (AEP) for safe evacuation of COVID-19 patients from ships and islands in a fully sealed patient transfer capsule so as to avoid the risk of infection to pilots and evacuation team.
The pod weighs just about 32 kg and costs ₹50,000, which is hardly 1% of the cost of its imported equivalent (which costs about ₹59 lakh apiece).
The evacuation pod was designed under the guidance of the principal medical officer of Naval Air Station Garuda in consultation with specialists from the naval hospital Sanjivani and the command headquarters. It is made of aluminium, rubber and perspex.
Trials of patients inside AEP were undertaken on April 8 on board an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Dornier aircraft. A total of 12 AEPs would be distributed across Southern, Western, Eastern and Andaman and Nicobar Commands, a Navy release said.
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