Medical devices Current Affairs - 2020

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What is Thermal Screening used at airports for COVID-19?

Thermal Screening are being used at airports to check COVID-19 virus. The numbers infected in India has reached 500 and India has entered into complete lock down for 21 days to contain the disease.

What is Thermal Screening?

Thermal screening is a process that detects radiation emitted by an object with increased temperature. When a person has fever, his temperature levels shoot up and thermal screening helps to detect them. When the temperature of an object increases, the radiations emitted by them also increases.

Current Issues

The Thermal scanners that are used at airports and sea ports to screen passengers entering India should be held at 1 to 3 cm distance. If not positioned accurately, the air temperature would have impacts on the recorded temperature. The devices are currently being operated by security personnel at many places and not a trained professional. This creates possibilities of errors.

A person is declared to have fever if his body temperature is above 100.4 degree Fahrenheit according to COVID-19 infection knowledge. The normal body temperature is 98.4 degree Fahrenheit. However, the person at the early stages of COVID-19 infections show body temperature hikes less than 100.4 degree Fahrenheit. Hence, there are possibilities for persons with the infection to enter the country rather being quarantined.

Usage of Infrared Thermometers

The usage of Infrared thermometers for humans is banned in India. They are however used in coal mines. As these thermometers use Laser technology, they are harmful and hence are banned in the country. Today, such thermometers have entered for human usages as the demand for thermal screening has increased. The thermal screening medical devices that are usually imported by India are stuck at ports due to lock down.

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Domestic Manufacturing of Medical Devices approved by Cabinet

On March 21, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved the Medical Device Park Scheme. The scheme is to be implemented for the next five years. The GoI has approved Rs 13,760 crores for the scheme. The amount is mainly to be used in medical devices and drugs production.

Highlights

The scheme aims to boost the domestic manufacturing of medical devices in the country. It includes setting up of medical device parks in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Every park is to receive Rs 100 crores. The grants are to be provided to the state and the projects are to be implemented by respective state governments.

Benefits

The parks will help to reduce imports and also increase standard of medical testing. Also, the scheme will help to reduce cost of production.

Background

India is the fourth largest market for medical devices in Asia. However, the domestic medical devices industry in India is very small. India’s domestic medical devices stand at 2% of the global industry.

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