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Most ventilators, PPE, masks required to fight COVID-19 being made in India, says Centre

Orders for 60,884 ventilators have been placed, of which over 59,000 are being manufactured in India while only 1,000 odd will be imported, said P D Vaghela, secretary, department of pharmaceuticals.

Published: 01st May 2020 08:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd May 2020 09:49 AM   |  A+A-

Ventilators

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: While 75,000 ventilators are projected to be required by hospitals across India in three months in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, the country has less than 20,000 dedicated to coronavirus patients now.

But the government is hopeful of getting most of the required quantity of the crucial medical device manufactured indigenously by domestic companies, said P D Vaghela, secretary, department of pharmaceuticals.

Vaghela, who heads an empowered group set by the Centre on essential medical supplies for the pandemic, said orders for 60,884 ventilators have been placed, of which over 59,000 are being manufactured in India while only 1,000 odd will be imported.

The government is hoping to get 15,000 new ventilators delivered in May by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Maruti Suzuki and a PSU in Andhra Pradesh among others, which will manufacture some 40,000 ventilators between them.

Vaghela also said that against the projected demand of 2.2 crore Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), required by healthcare workers all over the country over the next three months, 1.42 crore units will be manufactured domestically.

“As of now, 1.87 lakh PPE units are being manufactured domestically on a daily basis while this number was minuscule before March 2,” he said in a press conference on COVID-19 outbreak status.

India now has 111 domestic manfacturers of PPE while this number was just two a couple of months back.

The official stressed that the the country is comfortable in fulfilling the need of oxygen supply to hospitals.

The total manufacturing capacity of oxygen is 6,400 MT, of which around 1000 MT is used for medical oxygen, showed a power point presentation by Vaghela in the briefing.

There are 5 big and 600 small manufacturers of oxygen and  About 409 hospitals have their own oxygen generation and there are about 1050 cryogenic tankers in the country.

About 4.38 lakh medical oxygen cylinders are available for supply. Further, orders for 1.03 lakh new medical oxygen cylinders have been placed. Five lakh industrial oxygen cylinders have also been identified for conversion, if required, said Vaghela, adding that orders for conversion of 60,000 cylinders have already been issued.

Talking about N-95 masks, he said that 2.49 crore units had been ordered, out of which 1.49 crore were being produced domestically.

"Indian industry has risen to the occasion and is identifying opportunity in the crisis as urged by PM Narendra Modi," he added.

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