NEW DELHI: As complaints emerged that locally made ventilators being supplied by the Centre are not good enough for critical Covid-19 patients, the Union government on Wednesday sought to dismiss the concerns saying the medical devices fulfill all the required technical specifications.
At least two major Mumbai hospitals had returned the ventilators manufactured by a Noida based company, AgVa Healthcare, and supplied by the Centre saying they failed to boost oxygen to required levels in severely ill patients who were in ICU.
The company, however, said while its ventilators, costing Rs 1.5 lakh-2.5 lakh each, are not full-scale, high-end ventilators, they are good for Covid-19 patients. In a statement on Wednesday, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the issue of Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) mode not being available in the ventilators supplied by the Centre has been raised, but asserted that the devices are meant for ICUs and fulfill the required standards.
BiPAP mode is required to raise the oxygen level as per the requirement of patients. “The ‘Make in India’ ventilators supplied to the states and UTs, including Delhi, are meant for ICUs,” said the ministry in a statement. “The technical specifications for these Covid ventilators have been laid down by a technical committee of domain knowledge experts headed by the Director General Health Services against which the ventilators have been procured and supplied.
The ventilators procured and supplied comply with these specifications.” Ventilator models by Bharat Electricals Limited and AgVa supplied to states are cost-effective, have BiPAP and other such modes as prescribed in the technical specifications, the ministry maintained, asking hospitals to refer to the user manuals and feedback forms for clarity.
The Centre plans to supply 50,000 ventilators to states of which 30,000 are being manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited. The rest are being manufactured by AgVa Healthcare (10,000), AMTZ Basic (5,650), AMTZ High End (4,000) and Allied Medical (350).