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20k-30k Ventilators Remain Dysfunctional Amid Sudden Spike in India’s COVID-19 Cases- Report

The report suggests that officers informed industry leaders that the government has already ordered the procurement of 50,000 ventilators. 

Mumbai| At a time when countries across the world are ramping up the numbers of life-saving ventilators to fight the coronavirus crisis, 20-30 thousand ventilators in India from both public and private hospitals remain dysfunctional.

According to the report of The Indian Express, the particular issue had come up in the recent meeting of empowered officers on Wednesday. The meeting was chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

“Nearly 20,000 to 30,000 ventilators are currently not operational in different parts of India due to lack of servicing and non-availability of components. NITI Aayog will share the relevant information of these ventilators with CII and coordinate with state governments to re-operationalize them,” The Indian Express quoted an official who did not want to be named.

The source also informed that the CII will co-ordinate with ventilator manufactures and servicing companies to implement the re-operationalization process.

CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee was quoted by The Indian Express saying, “Ventilators presently in India are manufactured by small manufacturers. We have created a coalition between the manufactures and large companies so that supply can be ramped up. We are also looking at the scale and how we can scale things up for manufacturing ventilators.”

“We are looking at the defence, automobile manufactures, and big companies that can do contract manufacturing and scale up the production level,” he further added.

The report suggests that officers informed industry leaders that the government has already ordered the procurement of 50,000 ventilators.

The issue of ramping up the supply of diagnostic kits was also discussed. “Key industry leaders highlighted that the current estimate of the requirement of 16 lakh testing kits by June 2020 is a low number,” the report said.

Industry representatives also learned to have pointed out the issue of difficulties in importing components of the diagnostic kits required to manufacture the kits domestically.

The group headed by Kant to coordinate with the private sector, NGOs and international organizations comprises six other members-  Principal Scientific Advisor Dr Vijayaraghavan, NDMA member Kamal Kishore, CBIC member Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar, Additional Secretary (Home) Anil Malik, Joint Secretary in PMO Gopal Baglay, and Deputy Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Tina Soni.

 

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