COVID-19: Govt orders 60,884 ventilators, of which 59,884 to be made by domestic firms

Last Updated 01 May 2020, 14:30 IST

The government on Friday said it has ordered 60,884 ventilators, of which 59,884 will be made by domestic manufacturers and 1,000 will be imported.

The move is aimed at encouraging domestic manufacturing of medical equipment that are required in fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing a press briefing on the COVID-19 situation in the country, Pharma seceratry P D Vaghela, who is the chairman of the Empowered Group-3, said that currently 19,398 ventilators are available in the country.

The major domestic players for this include Bharat Electronics Ltd (in collaboration with Skanray) to whom orders for 30,000 ventilators have been placed, AgVa (in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki Ltd) to whom orders for 10,000 ventilators have been awarded and AMTZ (AP Medtech Zone) to whom orders for 13,500 ventilators have been placed, Vaghela said.

Regarding the oxygen and oxygen cylinders, he said the country was self-sufficient in both.

The total manufacturing capacity of oxygen is 6,400 MT, of which around 1,000 MT is used for medical oxygen, he said adding that there are 5 big and 600 small manufacturers of oxygen.

About 409 hospitals have their own oxygen generation and there are about 1,050 cryogenic tankers in the country, Vaghela said.

"Over 4 lakh oxygen cylinders are available; sufficient for today's requirements. Orders for more than 1 lakh oxygen cylinders have been placed and industrial oxygen is being converted into medical oxygen," he added.

The orders for conversion of 60,000 cylinders have already been issued.

On personal protective equipment (PPE), Vaghela said the government has ordered for 2.22 crore PPEs, of which orders to the tune of 1.42 crore have been placed with domestic manufacturers and 80 lakh PPEs are being imported.

Earlier, there was no domestic manufacturing of PPEs in the country and almost all of them were imported.

Within a short span of time, 107 manufacturers have been identified and facilitated, who have raised their daily production to about 1.87 lakh PPEs, he added.

In addition to the existing material testing laboratory, that is SITRA (South India Textile Research Association), Coimbatore, 9 new laboratories have been added by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordinance Factory Board across various locations in the country, Vaghela said.

Stating that the projected demand of N-95/N-99 masks till June has been estimated to be 2.72 crore, he added that orders to the tune of 2.49 crore of such masks have already been placed, of which orders to the tune of 1.49 crore have been with domestic manufacturers and about 1 crore N- 95 masks are being imported.

About diagnostic kits, Vaghela said that against a demand of 35 lakh combined RT-PCR kits, orders have been placed for 21.35 lakh such kits, out of that orders for 2 lakh kits were awarded to the domestic manufacturers.

As of Friday, a total of 13.75 lakh Combined RT-PCR kits have been received, he said.

In order to keep a tab on production and supplies of drugs and medical equipment on continuous basis, two control rooms - at Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) and National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) have been set up for daily monitoring of production and supplies, Vaghela said.

On stock availability of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), he said its production has increased from 12.23 crore tablets to 30 crore per month.

(Published 01 May 2020, 14:27 IST)

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