Automobile manufacturers asked to make ventilators: Health Ministry

PTI

File Photo: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (PTI Photo)

File Photo: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (PTI Photo)

The Centre has asked automobile manufacturers to use their facilities to make ventilators to boost the country’s capacity of such machines in view of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

It also said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will begin manufacturing 20,000 N-95 masks per day from the next week.

According to the Health Ministry, over 14,000 existing ventilators are earmarked for COVID-19 patients in various hospitals in the country, while there are 11.95 lakh N-95 masks in stock.

An additional 5 lakh masks were distributed during the last two days and 1.40 lakh will be distributed on Monday, it said.

The Ministry said 3.34 lakh personal protection equipment (PPE) coveralls are available with hospitals in the country and another 3 lakh donated coveralls will be received from abroad by April 4.

“Automobile manufacturers have been asked to manufacture ventilators and they are working towards this end,” the health ministry said in a tweet.

Besides, the Ministry has asked the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Defence, to manufacture 30,000 ventilators in the next two months in collaboration with local manufacturers.

Among the private players, Agva Healthcare, Noida has been given an order to manufacture 10,000 ventilators within a month. Their supplies are expected to commence in the second week of April, the Ministry said in another tweet.

Two domestic manufacturers are producing 50,000 N-95 masks per day. This is expected to go up to 1 lakh per day within next week, it said.

The Health Ministry also informed that 11 domestic producers of PPE coveralls have qualified so far and orders for 21 lakh coveralls have been placed. These are supplying 6,000-7,000 pieces per day and are expected to go up to 15,000 pieces per day by mid-April.

It further said that 10,000 PPE coveralls donated by Red Cross have been received and will be distributed on Monday.

“Orders for 10 lakh PPE kits have been placed through @MEAIndia on a #Singapore based platform and supplies are to commence soon,” the Ministry said on Twitter.

It added that one more domestic manufacturer was qualified on Monday and is being given orders for 5 lakh PPE coveralls.

The number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 1071 across the country, while the death toll rose to 29, according to the Union Health Ministry.

(PTI)