Out of 75,000 ventilators required by the government in the face of the coronavirus pandemic over the months of April, May and June, the Centre already has 19,000 of them in the stock. Currently, New Delhi has ordered 7,884 ventilator units, out of which just 1,000 will be imported, the remaining 6,884 being manufactured by domestic producers.
The government has identified domestic producers such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Maruti Suzuki and a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) in Andhra Pradesh among others, which will manufacture some 40,000 ventilators among them.
Highlighting that the domestic production of ventilators was much less before the start of March, Department of Pharmaceuticals secretary PD Vaghela, who is also leading Empowered Group-3, formed to streamline government’s response on essential medical supplies, said that the ventilator production has been ramped up as part of Make in India initiative.
Vaghela was addressing the press conference on the daily situation of coronavirus in the country.
A total of 11 empowered groups have been formed by the government.
Similarly, the domestic production capacity of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N-95 and N-99 masks, has seen a significant improvement since India entered the lockdown phase, in order to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay and striking at the populace.
Vaghela disclosed that India has a demand of two crore PPEs over the next three months, out of which 1.42 crore units will be manufactured domestically. He revealed that 1.87 lakh PPE units were being manufactured domestically on a daily basis and more companies had been invited which would be extended tenders on the first-come-first-serve basis.
Vaghela also revealed that a total of 35 lakh RT-PCR testing kits were required in the next two months.
Talking about the N-99 masks, the official said that 2.49 crore units had been ordered, out of which 1.49 crore were being produced domestically.
Vaghela also said that almost the entire demand for oxygen that would be fed into the ventilators will be produced by local companies.
“I am just amazed by how the Indian industry has risen up to the occasion. We were told to identify opportunities in the crisis,” remarked the IAS officer.