After 50,000 PPE kits from China fail quality tests, India ramps up in-house production
- India needs over a lakh PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits per day.
- The country placed orders for 15 million
PPE kits, including rapid testing kits from China.
- However, of the 1.7 lakh kits imported on April 5, nearly 50,000 failed the quality tests as per Indian standards, according to an ET report.
- The in-house production of PPE kits has also gone up to 30,000 per day.
- A Reuters report said that India needs at least 38 million masks and 6.2 million PPEs to fight the global pandemic.
A Reuters report said that India needs at least 38 million masks and 6.2 million PPEs to fight the global pandemic.
The government has ramped up the domestic production roping in the textile industry to prepare masks. It also ordered 15 million export orders of PPE kits — including the rapid testing kits from China.
However, as many as 50,000 PPE kits from China failed the quality tests as per Indian standards, according to an ET report. These were from the April 5 lot of 170,000 PPE kits imported. The report said that the equipment and kits supplied to India were of no use since it failed the safety checks at the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory in Gwalior.
“Two small consignments with 30,000 and 10,000 PPE kits, too, failed tests,” ET reported citing sources.
China has already been facing criticism from the European countries over the quality of equipment exported. This may be attributed to surge in the global demand for equipment amid the Coronavirus concerns.
India to import PPE kits from South-Asian countries
India has now shifted the focus to other South-Asian countries for imports. "A Singapore-based online platform has been identified which can supply 10 lakh PPE kits and an order has been placed through the Ministry of External Affairs to procure them. Another supplier-based in Korea, who has tie-ups with production companies in Vietnam and Turkey has been identified with daily production capacity of over 1 lakh PPE kits. Orders are being placed on this company through MEA for supplying 20 lakh PPE kits," Ministry officials reportedly said.
“By the end of May first week, we should have these suits. More orders are being placed,” the government officials said. In fact, the in-house production of PPE kits went up to 30,000 per day.
A shortage of these kits are being felt across the world as countries close borders and India relies heavily on imports.
“The shortage of PPE was there, because the raw material was always imported from other countries. But the government has addressed the issue by looping in the textile workers,” said Gautam Bhansali, member of Maharashtra’s state taskforce for Coronavirus.
Where does the buck stop if there is a shortage of protective gear for health workers fighting novel coronavirus?
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