As a part of Make in India initiative, the central government has started distributing indigenous ventilators to hospitals across the country to fight against the Covid pandemic. In the first slot, about 3000 domestic ventilators have been distributed to states.Also Read - Twitter Asks Critical Questions on Migrant Crisis-Lack of Ventilators as Crores Spent on Amit Shah's Rally For West Bengal Election Campaign
Ventilators are life-saving medical equipment required for Covid patients, as some of them tend to develop acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS). On May 1, the Union Health Ministry, in a press statement, had indicated the projected demand of 75,000 ventilators till June. Accordingly, orders were rushed including the requirements of the state governments.
“So far, at least 3000 country-made ventilators have been distributed to states, which will be placed in various hospitals; few are under dispatch,” a senior government official confirmed to ANI.
In the coming days, the domestic production of ventilators is going to speed up, added the official.
Taking forward Make in India initiative, local manufacturers of ventilators were identified. They were guided about specifications, finalising the training and other protocols, creating new supply chains.
They were also helped with logistic issues with suppliers and state governments and the arrangement of consumables and etc were also decided. The major domestic players include Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in collaboration with Skanray to whom orders for 30,000 ventilators were given.
Domestic manufacturer AgVa (in collaboration with automobile company- Maruti Suzuki Limited) was asked for a consignment of 10,000 ventilators. The AMTZ (AP Medtech Zone) received orders for about 13,500 units. Besides them, another Indian firm, Jyoti CNC, got orders to develop 5,000 ventilators.
On 13 May, the central government in its press statement said, “For augmenting the infrastructure to tackle COVID-19 cases across the country, 50000 ‘Made-in-India’ ventilators will be purchased from PM CARES Fund at a cost of approximately Rs. 2000 crores. These ventilators will be provided to government-run COVID hospitals in all States/UTs, for better treatment of the critical COVID-19 cases.”
In the meantime, orders have been placed on international companies like Hamilton, Mindray and Draeger to supply ventilators. Ministry of External Affairs is also approaching suppliers in China for sourcing 10,000 ventilators from them.
As per the union health ministry, till June 2020– the total projected demand of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits has been estimated to be Rs. 2.01 crore. “Till today, the government has distributed over one crore PPE to various States/UTs,” adding that more than one crore N-95 masks have been provided to them so far.