The Centre has placed an order for 1.7 crore units of personal protective equipment (PPE) and 49,000 ventilators, the Union Health Ministry said at the daily press briefing on Thursday. The PPE includes boots, coverall, N-95 masks, headgear, gloves and related gear, said Luv Agarwal, the joint secretary at the ministry, said.
He said that 20 domestic manufacturers were involved in the production of PPEs at this stage.
We appeal to all the people to use the PPEs rationally. In a low-risk environment, one just has to just gloves and mask, while moderate-risk environment calls for the use of N-95 masks and gloves, said Agarwal, adding that it was only in a high-risk environment that the whole set of PPE must be used.
"We have issued rationalisation guidelines for PPEs before as well. Everyone should strictly follow them," he said.
Agarwal further revealed that the Centre had constituted 10 teams, which had been sent to nine states, in a bid to help the local authorities in checking the spread of the virus. The teams have been sent to Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu among other states.
The ministry also said that 80,000 isolation beds had been set-up in 5,000 dedicated railway coaches to increase the number of quarantine centres in the country. A total of 2,500 doctors from the Indian Railways and 35,000 staff members have been enlisted for help by the Centre, it said.
Agarwal said that 166 deaths have been recorded in India due to coronavirus, since it first surfaced in the country on Jan 30.