New Delhi, March 30: Health Ministry officials said on Monday that automobile manufacturers such as Maruti, Tata and Mahindra and Mahindra were being involved in the production of ventilators as part of preparations to cope up with COVID 19. They are in talks with the ministry and have held meetings, the officials said. A ministry statement said that prevention, containment and management of COVID 19 in country was being monitored at the highest level and various actions have been initiated in collaboration with the states.
"In order to meet the requirement of PPEs, masks and ventilators, factories producing essential items are working round-the-clock and ordinance factories are trying to produce personal protection equipment for medical personnel," it said. India Approaches Suppliers in China to Procure Ventilators, Masks and Coveralls to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic.
The statement said that Bharat Electronics Limited would manufacture ventilators and drug companies have assured the government that there will no shortage of drugs during this crisis. Medical personnel are being trained and are fully prepared for any emergency, it said. Personal protection equipment (PPE) kits are used by medical personnel working in isolation areas and intensive care units for protection.
They were not being manufactured in the country but with the prospect of huge requirement of PPEs, the government took "proactive steps" to promote their manufacture in the country, the statement said. It said that while Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Health have been working together in this endeavour, domestic manufacturers rose to the occasion and 11 manufacturers have cleared quality tests so far.
Orders for 21 lakh PPE coveralls have been placed on them. Currently, they are supplying 6-7,000 coveralls per day and this is expected to go up to 15,000 per day within the next week. One more manufacturer has qualified today and an order of 5 lakh coveralls has been placed with him, the statement said. It said that as of now, 3.34 lakh PPEs are available in various hospitals across the country.
About 60,000 PPE kits have already been procured and supplied by Government of India. Indian Red cross society has arranged 10,000 PPEs from China which have also been received and are being distributed. Another three lakh donated PPE coveralls are to arrive by April 4 and an order for 3 lakh PPEs has been placed with ordinance factories, the ministry said.Foreign sources of PPE kits are also faced with a huge increase in the worldwide demand. They are being approached through the Ministry of External Affairs.
A Singapore-based online platform has been identified which can supply 10 lakh PPE kits and an order has been placed through Ministry of External Affairs to procure them. Another supplier based in Korea, who has tie-ups with production companies in Vietnam and Turkey, has been identified with daily production capacity of over 1 lakh PPE kits. Orders are being placed on this company through MEA for supplying 20 lakh PPE kits, the statement added.
It said N95 masks are being manufactured by two domestic producers. They are able to supply 50,000 masks per day at the moment, but are ramping up capacities to make 1 lakh masks per day by next week. DRDO is also collaborating with local manufacturers to produce about 20,000 N99 masks per day.
Hospitals in the country have 11.95 lakh N95 masks in stock as of now. Additional 5 lakh masks were distributed in the past two days and 1.40 lakh masks are being distributed today. 10 lakh masks would be part of the PPE kits being sourced from Singapore. It said ventilators are required for COVID-19 patients as they tend to develop acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS).
"Less than 20 COVID-19 patients are on ventilator support at this moment. As against this, over 14,000 ventilators have been identified in various hospitals across the country for treatment of COVID 19 patients. A domestic manufacturers Agva Healthcare in Noida has been able to develop suitable ventilators and an order of 10,000 ventilators has been placed.
Supplies are expected to commence by the second week of April. In addition, an order for 30,000 ventilators has been placed with Bharat Electronics Limited which is going to collaborate with domestic manufacturers. Indian Auto manufacturers are also preparing to manufacture ventilators, the statement said.
Orders have also been placed on international companies like Hamilton, Mindray and Draeger to supply ventilators. Ministry of External Affairs is also approaching suppliers in China for sourcing 10,000 ventilators.
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