India increases production of Covid-19 protective equipment, medical equipment

NEW DELHI: India has increased production of protective gears as well, giving a boost to its fight against new ones and reducing dependence on foreign countries for these items that are in high demand globally due to the pandemic.

The Center said on Friday that it ordered Rs 2.22 million (), of which around Rs 1.42 million will be purchased from domestic manufacturers and the rest will be imported.

Speaking at a press conference on the Covid-19 situation in the country, PD Vaghela, president of one of 11 empowered groups formed to plan and ensure implementation of the response to the outbreak of the disease, said against the Projected demand of around 2.01 million PPE, orders have been placed for more than Rs 2.22 million for such equipment.

Previously, there was no domestic manufacture of PPE in the country and almost all of them were imported. Now, we have 111 indigenous manufacturers. EPP's production capacity has grown so much that it has grown into an Rs 7 billion industry in India, the largest after China, said the chairman of Empowered Group 3, who is also a secretary in the pharmaceuticals department.

According to the government, the current national production of PPE per day is around 1.87 lakh.

Vaghela said there are some 19,398 fans available in India and 60,884 more have been ordered. Of these, 59,884 will be produced locally, he said.

The health ministry has indicated a projected demand for 75,000 fans as of June.

He said that of the total 2.49 crore of N-95/N-99 masks ordered, 1.49 crore have been ordered from domestic manufacturers and around one crore of N-95 masks are being imported.

On the production of drugs and other medical equipment, Vaghela said, production has increased from Rs 12.23 million to Rs 30 million per month. He also said that more than 4 lakh of oxygen cylinders are available which is enough for today's requirements.

Orders for more than 1 lakh of oxygen cylinders have been placed and industrial oxygen is being converted to medical oxygen, he said.

He also informed reporters that in the face of demand for 35 lakh combined RT-PCR test kits, the ICMR has ordered more than 21 lakh kits and about 14 lakh have already been received.

The Center has decided to keep the states on the purchase of VTM and RNA extraction kits, said the president of Empowered Group-3.

Vaghela said there were several challenges for the government, including very high global demand for medical supplies and no N-95 mask and EPP production facility in the country, plus a small production facility for fans and test kits.

The required medical supplies were largely imported, he said.

The strategy devised was to see this as an opportunity to create supply and manufacturing chains in India by helping existing producers expand and identify new manufacturers.

The joint secretary of the health ministry, Lav Agarwal, said that all the country's districts have been divided into red, orange and green zones based on the Covid-19 cases reported from there and emphasized that the district administrations must guarantee the rupture of the transmission chain through strict measures

He said that the red and orange zones have been defined in such a way to ensure that no critical area of ‚Äč‚Äčintervention is missed at the field level. Ruthless containment measures to break the transmission chain will be taken in red and orange areas, Agarwal said.

In addition to the cumulative number of cases and the doubling rate, the population density, the evidence rate, and the likelihood of an area challenging us later have also been considered when classifying districts into red and orange zones, he said. .

The biggest challenge is not whether a district is in the red or orange zone, but whether containment measures are being adequately followed to slow the spread of the virus, Agarwal said.

Containment areas should be properly delineated, taking into account the mapping of cases and contacts, the geographical dispersion of cases and contacts, areas with a well-defined perimeter and enforceability, he said.

Containment areas may be residential neighborhoods/mohallas/municipal neighborhoods or police station area/municipal areas/towns, etc. in urban areas, as appropriate. In the case of rural areas, the areas can be a village, a group of villages or a group of police stations or gram panchayats, among others.

Union states and territories must also clearly demarcate buffer zones and containment zones, said the joint secretary of the health ministry.

In containment areas, strict control of the perimeter, active search for cases through house-to-house surveillance by special teams trained for this purpose, testing all cases according to sampling guidelines, monitoring contacts and clinical management of all confirmed cases should be done. In buffer zones, it is necessary to carry out a comprehensive surveillance through the monitoring of ILI/SARI cases in health facilities, he said.

The health ministry has listed 130 districts of the country in the red zone, 284 in the orange zone and 319 in the green zone based on COVID-19 incidents, duplication rate, scope of tests and comments. of vigilance.

This district ranking must be followed by states and UTs until one week after May 3 for containment operations. The list will be reviewed weekly or sooner and will be communicated to states for follow-up action.

Metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad have been designated as red zones in the new classification.