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10th June 2020 14:24:31 Hours

Troops Innovating Automated COVID-19 Control Medical Products Impress Secretary Defence & Commander

Exclusively innovated 29 anthropocentric medically-vital Army innovations to help control COVID-19, perhaps hitherto not produced anywhere under one roof within such a short period of time were unveiled and kept on display at the Army Headquarters on Wednesday (10) in the presence of Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, Secretary Defence who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest at the invitation of Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army and Head, National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO).

Those 29 innovations, some being automated and re-engineered productions of much relevance to the eradication of the COVID-19 virus, classified under three categories, Ultraviolet C (Project), Medical Project (Ventilators) and Disinfection Equipment (Project), were initiated by the Research & Development Branch of the Army and the Directorate of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (DEME) with stimulating guidance given by the Commander of the Army as Head of the NOCPCO soon after the epidemic turned rapidly contagious and life-threatening in Sri Lanka. Such incredible creativity also picked up steam in keeping with the Commander's firm belief that 'nothing is impossible' for a soldier as evidenced by those health-related innovations.

These Ultraviolet C (UVC) Army innovations with invisible light rays have been tested by the Certificate of Energy & Environmental Services, National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Medical Research Institute and the Department of Bacteriology in the Ministry of Health while other innovations were checked and certified by the UK's Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency and the Society for Health Research and Innovation, Sri Lanka before they were declared suitable for use.

Those innovations on display consisted of UVC-C Portable Disinfection Lamp - (PDL1X150), UV-C Hand-held Disinfection Lamp - (HDL1X11) UV-C Handheld Surface Disinfection Lamp - (HSDL1X20), UV-C Surface Disinfection Tower - (SDT2X16), UV-C Static Disinfection Tower - (SDT6X32), UV-C Remote Control Disinfection Tower - (RCDT6X32), UV-C LED Disinfection Lamp - (LEDGL), UV-C Utility Disinfection Cubicle - (UDC 1X16), UV-C, Document Disinfection Unit - (DDU2X11), UV-C Baggage Disinfection Conveyor - (BDC10X20), Indoor Air Disinfection Unit - (IADU), Alternative Respiratory Machine for Ventilation - (ARMV1), Alternative Respiratory Machine for Ventilation - (ARMV), Sodium Hydochloride Solution Generator - SHSG - (NaOC1), Safe Incubation Box - (SIB), Pro-Gap Indicator (Protective Gap Indicator) - PGI, Indoor Disinfection Robot (IDR), Outdoor Disinfection Robot (ODR), Automatic Sanitizing Chamber - (ASC), Disinfection Heat Chamber - (DHC), Portable Germicidal UVC Contrivance for Documents Disinfection, Automatic Shoe Cleaner, Protected Face Mask and Jacket, Cooling Jacket, Automatic Vehicle Disinfection Chamber, Touch Free Hand Wash, Automatic Hand Cleaner, Mobile Hand Disinfection Unit and Digital Vehicle Searcher.

The day's significance and proceedings came to the fore with the screening of two video productions, one which narrated the sequence of events with detection of the first COVID-19 patient in the country, immediate establishment of the Presidential Task Force and the NOCPCO, able and specific guidance made available for control of it all the time by HE the President and the Prime Minister, commitment of heroic Tri servicemen, Health Officials, PHIs and workers, quick improvisation of Quarantine Centres and Intensive Care units and Hospitals, services of the Head of the NOCPCO, Director General of Health Services and the Police stakeholders, etc and another introductory video documentary that explained what those 29 new Army innovative products are all about after the day's Chief Guest, Secretary Defence, together with Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva arrived at the assembly area. Major Indu Jayawickrama, Commanding Officer, 5 Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers made introductory welcome remarks and spelt out their relevance to the ongoing local and global fight against this deadly virus.

Symbolic of the day's significance to the organization, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva afterwards invited Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne to distribute three of those new innovations for use in the Army to Major General Adeepa Thilakaratne, Chief Signal Officer, Brigadier Hirosha Wanigasekera, Director Supply and Transport and Brigadier K. P. N Pathirana, Director Army Medical Services.

The day's climax reached when the Chief Guest, Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne was invited to award certificates to the innovators, appreciative of their dedicated work at a time the Nation's very survival was at stake. Similarly, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva in succession awarded certificates to Lieutenant Colonel J.K.D.G Jayasinghe, Dr L.Ushantha Padmasiri and Mr S Gerhad Mendis for Ultraviolet - C Projects, Captain U.L.G.D.T Gunasinghe, Mr K N Chinthana Fernando for Alternative Respiratory Machine for Ventilation ( ARMV1), Craftsman R. A. A Nilanga of SLEME for his innovative product, Pro Gap Indicator – PGI, Lance Corporal K. G. S Karunathilaka - SLEME for Automatic Sanitizing Chamber (ASC), Staff Sergeant L A Nishantha Kumara of SLCMP for Automatic Vehicle Disinfection Chamber, Lance Bombardier M. B. B Lakmal of SLA for Manually Operated Disinfection Unit and Recruit E. U Ishara of 3 SLAMC for Automated Hand Cleaner.

After award of certificates, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva gifted two of those innovations crafted by both the Sri Lanka Army Research and Development Branch and the Directorate of Electrical and Mechanical and Electrical Engineers to the Secretary of Defence, the Chief Guest as mementoes. Those innovative products included a Portable Germicidal UVC Contrivance for Documents Disinfection (Types 1 & II) which is capable of disinfecting all varieties of paper, plastic items, boards and metal surfaces and a UV-C LED Disinfection Lamp - (LEDGL) that can disinfect interiors of a vehicle or a small room.

Later on, Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, together with the Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army closely watched all those 29 products on display and interacted with those innovators standing by their proud products.

The Secretary Defence on arrival at the Army HQ was saluted in a drive-past Guard, presented by Sri Lanka Light Infantry troops before he was warmly received by Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva. Director General Research and Development Branch, Brigadier Prasad Akuranthilake and the Director Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Brigadier Indu Samarakoon threw their full weight behind realization of this exclusive showpiece that mirrored the innate talents of Army personnel for production of such innovations for timely requirement of the country.

The day's programme was conducted adhering to health safety guidelines and social distancing practices.