New Delhi: Despite the implementation of a nationwide lockdown and social distancing measures, there’s no stopping the coronavirus in India as cases of Covid-19 are on the rise. However, to continue the fight against the pandemic, the country would have to deal with a massive shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and coronavirus diagnostic kit in the coming months. Also Read - China Says it is Ready to Help India Procure Ventilators But Ramping up Production Not Easy
The government has calculated that the country would require 27 million N95 masks and 50,000 ventilators in the next two months. An Indian Express report, while citing sources said that there would also be a requirement of 1.6 million diagnostic kits and 15 million PPEs in the next two months. Also Read - ISRO to Put a Hold on Making Rockets, Will Now Design Ventilators & Make Hand Sanitizers
The estimates were reported in a meeting on April 3, wherein the government officials entrusted with various coronavirus task forces conveyed the numbers to the industry representatives.
During the meeting, it was conveyed that, of the estimated demand of 50,000 ventilators in the next two months, 16,000 are already available, and orders have been placed for the remaining 34,000 ventilators.
Further, the government is also planning to procure ventilators and PPEs from abroad to deal with any shortage and has roped in The Ministry of External Affairs.
To deal with shortage of medical supplies, the govt has tightened export restrictions on testing kits and drugs, and rohibited exports of “all ventilators including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance/device” along with sanitisers, surgical masks, and PPEs.