New Delhi [India], May 1 (ANI): The Centre on Friday said the production capacity of personal protection equipment (PPE) kits has increased from around 3,300 per day in March end to 1.8 lakh per day in one month, and will soon be above two lakh per day.
"From the production capacity of around 3,300 PPE kits per day in the March end, in one month, we have increased our capacity to 1.8 lakh PPE kits per day. It will soon be above two lakh per day. Our PPE kit needs will surely be met with," said P D Vaghela, chairman, Empowered Group 3, which has been mandated with the production and procurement of medical supplies in the nation's fight against COVID-19.
Vaghela, who was speaking at a press conference here, said that India took the challenge posed by COVID-19 as an opportunity to create supply chains and domestic manufacturing capacity for PPE kits by helping capacity expansion, identification of new manufacturers and handholding.
"The demand for PPE kits has been projected at 2.01 crore in India. We have placed orders for 2.22 crore kits out of which 1.42 crore kits are being procured in the domestic market," he said.
"1.87 lakh kits are being produced daily in the country. From no domestic manufacturers earlier, we now have 111 indigenous manufacturers, with whom orders for more than 1.4 crore PPE kits have been placed," he said.
PPE kits include equipment that protects an individual from health risks. It includes head covers, fluid-resistant surgical or N95 masks, disposable gloves, long-sleeved fluid-repellent gowns or aprons, eye goggles, face shields, and boots or closed shoes.
"As many as nine new labs for PPE testing have been added in 15 days. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed three types of new PU coated nylon and have transferred the technology to domestic manufacturers," he added.
Vaghela informed that there is a demand for 35 lakh RT-PCR kits and the ICMR has placed an order for 21.35 lakh kits.
"We have received 13.75 lakh kits so far. We have ordered for 2.49 crore N95 masks. The production of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has increased to 30 crore tablets from 12.23 crore tablets. A total of 16 crore HCQ tablets have been released into the market," he said.
"More than four lakh oxygen cylinders are available, which is sufficient for today's requirements, orders for more than one lakh oxygen cylinders have been placed. Industrial oxygen too is being converted into medical oxygen," he added.
Vaghela informed that against a total demand for 75,000 ventilators, close to 20,000 are available and additional orders have been placed for more than 60,000.
"Through handholding and facilitation, and assistance via training and installation, demand for ventilators is being met. We are confident of meeting the full requirements of the nation," he added. (ANI)