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A doctor wearing PPE suit takes a swab sample of a resident
A doctor wearing PPE suit takes a swab sample of a resident

Enough orders placed for PPEs, ventilators to tackle covid-19: Govt

Govt is looking to expand capacities of existing manufacturers of various medical equipment, says DoP secy Vaghela

The Centre on Friday said it has placed sufficient orders for healthcare equipment to battle the covid-19 pandemic even as the number of infections surged.

The government has placed orders for 22.2 million personal protective equipment (PPEs) against a demand of 20.1 million, said P.D. Vaghela, secretary, department of pharmaceuticals (DoP). Orders for 60,884 ventilators against an estimated demand of 75,000 machines have also been placed, he said.

“Based on requirements of various medical equipment as informed by the ministry of health and family welfare, and department of health research till June, the committee is constantly looking to expand the capacities of existing manufacturers and identifying new manufacturers of various medical equipment," he said.

The government has so far received about 1.74 million PPEs with another 11.5 million expected over the next two months, he said, adding there are currently 19,398 ventilators.

Vaghela is also the chairman of the Empowered Group-3, responsible for medical equipment, including PPEs, masks and ventilators, across production, procurement, import and distribution channels.

The DoP secretary said India is self-sufficient in the supply of medical oxygen cylinders, which is crucial in the fight against the respiratory disease. While about 4.38 lakh oxygen cylinders are available, orders have been placed for 103,000 new cylinders. Besides another half a million industrial oxygen cylinders have also been identified for conversion, if required.

“The government is promoting domestic manufacturing and imports are being resorted to only if absolutely necessary to meet the timelines for procurement of some critical items," Vaghela said.

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