Shielding from Covid : Face masks for doctors

An excerpt from a conversation with Karkhana.io which is manufacturing face shields and aerosol boxes to assist in the fight against Covid.

How did you discover the problem surrounding shortage of PPEs? What led you to work on face shields?

Karkhana.io is a custom manufacturing platform. We have been providing a variety of manufacturing services from prototyping all the way to production to our customers across India. With the COVID-19 crisis hitting the country and most supply chains coming to a halt, we decided to repurpose our manufacturing capability and capacity to manufacture critical equipment required to fight the healthcare crisis.

Few of the areas where we could immediately create impact were manufacturing and supply of some of the PPEs. We figured that protective eyewear was severely in shortage, with supply meeting only 7% of the existing demand. To bridge this gap, we picked up face shields as a product to scale on and set up our manufacturing supply chain for this. In the process, we also developed an aerosol box that provides additional protection between medical staff and patients when performing endotracheal intubation in a patient with known or suspected COVID-19. This box is designed to reduce the risk of spread of infection by containing the aerosols generated by the patient during the intubation procedure.

What is the current traction on the ground?

We are presently manufacturing around 2000–2500 units of face shields and 50 units of aerosol boxes a day and will ramp up to 6000 and 200 units respectively in a few days. We have already supplied 1000s of units of face shields to various major hospitals and are also fundraising to donate to government hospitals that have scarcity of funds to buy protective equipment.

What is the plan for the next few weeks? Where would you need support on scaling up?

We are fully focused on ramping up production for the protective equipment and supplying to different parts of the country. In parallel, we are also working with other companies and providing manufacturing support for testing kits, ventilator components etc.

While we continue to scale our manufacturing resources, we are seeking faster methods to deliver our products to the customers in need.

We are backing ideas that are capital efficient, scale ready and can create immediate impact to combat Covid-19.