Govt To Purchase 10,000 Ventilators From China, Places Order For 40,000 With Indian Companies

The Central Govt will source 10,000 ventilators from China and has placed orders for domestic production of 40,000 such units.

New Delhi| India has started looking at importing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits, N95 masks and ventilators in order to meet its requirements, including ramping up domestic manufacture of the same with the help of private enterprises.

While India is looking at procuring PPEs and ventilators, testing kits are being sourced from other countries given the recent cases of faulty equipment sent by China to various countries.

A statement by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a press release said, “Indian Red Cross Society has arranged 10,000 PPEs from China which have also been received and are being distributed. Another 3 lakh donated PPE coveralls are to arrive by April 4. An order for 3 lakh PPEs has been placed with ordinance factories.”

On March 28, the first batch of medical supplies donated to the Indian Red Cross Society by Chinese charity organisations Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation arrived in New Delhi.

Besides, orders have also been placed with international companies like Hamilton, Mindray and Draeger for ventilators and even Indian automobile manufacturers will be roped into source them. Even as it has moved to source these ventilators, 14,000 of them have already been identified in various hospitals across the country, a note by the Union Health Ministry on Monday said.

The government has also placed an order for 21 lakh personal protection equipment coveralls with 11 domestic manufacturers. Currently, these 11 manufacturers are supplying 6,000-7,000 coveralls per day and this is expected to go up to 15,000 per day within the next week, the note said.

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Globally, countries have been facing the prospect of rationing their ventilator support systems due to the surge in acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS) among Covid-19 patients. Countries like Italy have had to ration their ventilator support and had to take tough life-or-death calls of prioritising the use of ventilators for younger patients and for those who had a higher chance of survival.

The note said Noida-based Agva Healthcare has been able to develop suitable ventilators and order of 10,000 ventilators has been placed with them. The company will begin delivery by the second week of April. In addition, an order for 30,000 ventilators has been placed on state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited which is going to collaborate with domestic manufacturers in this endeavour, it added.

Most of the procurement that India is looking at is from China and other South-East Asian countries. Other foreign sources for PPE kits are Singapore, South Korea (with production companies in Vietnam and Turkey).

“A Singapore-based online platform has been identified which can supply 10 lakh PPE kits and an order has been placed through the Ministry of External Affairs to procure them. Another supplier-based in Korea, which has tie-ups with production companies in Vietnam and Turkey has been identified with a daily production capacity of over 1 lakh PPE kits. Orders are being placed on this company through MEA for supplying 20 lakh PPE kits,” said MoHFW statement.

While domestic manufacturers are also being optimally used, many manufacturing companies from other sectors have offered to make this equipment to fill the gap of demand.

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