Covid-19: Imported PPEs arrive: Govt

The objective is to achieve a supply of about 10 lakh PPE kits per week

Picture: Pixabay

NEW DELHI: The arrivals and domestic production will add to the 3,87,473 personal protection equipments (PPEs) already available in the country as of now. Till now a total of 2.94 lakh PPE coveralls have been arranged and supplied by Centre, an official release said. Last week, the government had said 60,000 PPEs had been distributed.

The objective is to achieve a supply of about 10 lakh PPE kits per week. Looking at the number of patients in the country, sufficient quantities are available for the moment, a government release said.

The government has faced criticism that shortages in PPEs is putting frontline medical staff in harm’s way and compromising the fight against Covid-19. The government has said severe shortfalls of January-February are easing and supplies were directed according to hospitals and highincidence areas.

The arrival of foreign supplies is a “major milestone” in procuring PPEs and a fresh order of 80 lakh PPE kits (including N95 masks) with a Singapore-based platform is likely to see supplies commencing in a week from April 11 with 2 lakh, followed by 8 lakh more.

Also read: Air India flight brings tons of medical supplies from China: COVID-19

Negotiations are in final stages with a Chinese source for 60 lakh complete PPE kits. Separate orders for N95 masks and protective goggles are also being placed. Two lakh domestically produced N95 masks are also being sent to hospitals.

This would mean over 20 lakh N95 masks have been supplied and around 16 lakh such masks are available with the number to be augmented by fresh supply. Major portions of fresh supplies are being sent to states with comparatively high number of cases such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan as well as institutions like AIIMS, Safdarjung and RML hospitals, RIMS, NEIGRIHMS, BHU and AMU.

Northern Railways have developed a PPE coverall. This is in addition to the PPE coveralls and N99 masks developed by DRDO earlier. Orders have been placed for 112.76 lakh standalone N95 masks and 157.32 lakh PPE coveralls.