Health infrastructure ramped up to tackle COVID-19 pandemic

Vishal Dahiya
File Photo: Hospital

File Photo: Hospital

The Centre and the State Governments are coordinating efforts to meet the requirements of personal protection equipment (PPE) kits, masks and ventilators in the country.

Used by medical and hospital personnel, PPE kits were not manufactured earlier in India. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, domestic manufacturers have come forward to undertake production.

So far after clearing quality tests, 11 manufacturers have started production. Orders for 21 lakh PPE coveralls have been placed with them. Currently, these manufacturers are supplying 6000 to 7,000 kits per day.

As of now, 3.34 lakh PPEs are available in various hospitals across the country. Three lakh donated PPE coveralls are expected to arrive in the country by April 4.

Orders for three lakh PPEs have also been placed with ordinance factories. Further purchases are being arranged from foreign vendors in Singapore, Korea, Vietnam and Turkey.

Two domestic manufacturers are producing N95 masks. Currently, they supply 50,000 masks per day and are in the process of ramping up capacity up to 1 lakh masks a day from next week.

The DRDO is also collaborating with local manufacturers to produce about 20,000 N99 masks per day. This supply is expected to become available by next week. Currently, hospitals in the country have 11.95 lakh N95 masks in stock.

Ventilators are another important medical equipment that COVID-19 patients who develop acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS) need.

As of now, less than 20 COVID-19 patients are on ventilator support. The Government has identified over 14,000 ventilators in various hospitals across the country for likely use in the future.

An order for 30,000 ventilators has also been placed with Bharat Electronics Limited while 10,000 ventilators have been ordered from domestic manufacturer Agva Healthcare. Indian Auto manufacturers are also in preparation for manufacturing ventilators.

Meanwhile, all drug companies have assured the Government that there will not be any shortage of drugs during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Government has said medical personnel are also being trained and are fully prepared to tackle any emergency.