After the supply of defective ventilators through the PM CARES Fund came to light in Rajasthan, the State government on Saturday decided to formulate a special plan of action for containing the COVID-19 pandemic in Jaipur. The State capital has accounted for 24% of the total active cases in Rajasthan.
The administration is likely to intensify the restrictions in Jaipur with the demarcation of containment zones, expansion of testing activities, and rigorous contract tracing after identifying positive cases. Free medicine kits will also be distributed in residential areas of the district.
Active cases in Jaipur crossed 45,500 on Saturday, while the number in the State stood at 2.08 lakh. At the dedicated hospital at the Rajasthan University of Health Sciences and in most private hospitals in the city, all beds with ventilators and oxygen support were occupied.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision for an audit of the installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Centre was a “step in the right direction”. “Full investigation should be taken up to find out how the defective ventilators were supplied to the States,” Mr. Gehlot tweeted.
Mr. Gehlot said the reports had revealed that the Central government-owned HLL Lifecare Limited had purchased 59,000 ventilators from about 10 companies, many of which did not have any experience in manufacturing these machines. Because of this, defective ventilators were supplied to several States, he said.
The Chief Minister said these ventilators were not used by doctors at most of places for fear of putting the lives of patients at risk. “I do hope that the Centre will conduct a fair probe into the matter and take strict action against these companies,” he said.
The Union government had made 1,900 ventilators available to Rajasthan from the PM CARES Fund. Doctors in the State had pointed out that there was a pressure drop problem in the ventilators and they were shutting down after working for one to two hours. The machines also had problems of sudden decrease in PiO2 and failure of oxygen sensors and compressors.