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Automobile makers asked to manufacture ventilators: Health Ministry

Photo for representational purpose.

Photo for representational purpose.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

Order given to Bharat Electronics Ltd. to manufacture 30,000 ventilators in the next two months

Automobile manufacturers have been asked to manufacture ventilators and they are working towards this end, confirmed the Union Health Ministry on Monday and elaborated the various efforts being put in place to counter an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases.

Also read: Coronavirus | India caps prices of sanitisers, surgical masks

Orders have been placed with international companies Hamilton, Mindray and Draeger to supply ventilators and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was also approaching suppliers in China for sourcing 10,000 ventilators from them, noted the Health Ministry.

Agav Healthcare in Noida has been able to develop suitable ventilators and an order for 10,000 ventilators has been placed with it. The supplies are expected to commence in April second week.

Personal protection equipment 

“The prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 in the country are being monitored at the highest level and various actions have been initiated in collaboration with the States. In order to meet the requirement of personal protection equipment (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,’’ said a release issued by the Ministry.

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While Bharat Electronics Limited was going to manufacture ventilators, all drug companies have assured the government that there would not be any shortage of drugs during this crisis and even auto manufacturers were working to develop and produce ventilators. Medical personnel were being trained and they were fully prepared for any emergencies.

“Eleven domestic manufacturers rose to the occasion and they have cleared quality tests. Orders for 21 lakh PPE coveralls have been placed with them. Currently, they are supplying 6-7,000 coveralls a day and this is expected to go up to 15,000 a day within the next week. One more manufacturer has qualified today and an order of 5 lakh coveralls has been placed with him,’’ noted the release.

The Ministry said that currently 3.34 lakh PPE coveralls were available with various hospitals. “About 60,000 PPE kits have already been procured and supplied; the Indian Red Cross Society has arranged 10,000 PPEs from China and they 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.’’

India was also looking at foreign suppliers through the MEA. “A Singapore based online platform has been identified which can supply 10 lakh PPE kits and an order has been placed. 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 with this company through the MEA for supplying 20 lakh PPE kits,’’ it noted.

N95 masks

Speaking about N95 masks, the Ministry said that hospitals in the country had 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 distributed on Monday. Ten lakh masks would be part of the PPE kits being sourced from Singapore.

Also read: Coronavirus | Masks, sanitisers declared essential commodities

“N95 masks are being manufactured by two domestic producers. They are able to supply 50,000 masks a day at the moment but are ramping up capacities to make 1 lakh masks a day within the next week. DRDO [Defence Research and Development Organisation] is also collaborating with local manufacturers to produce about 20,000 N99masks a day. This supply is also expected to become available in a week’s time,’’ the Ministry stated.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 4:30:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/automobile-makers-asked-to-built-ventilators-health-ministry/article31204808.ece

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