At this rate, India will have produced around 3 lakh PPE units in April, while the requirement is estimated to be around 1.5 crore units
According to government estimates, the production capacity of PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) in India is set to reach 30,000 units per day by April 25, The Times of India has reported.
On March 1, a couple of days before the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced a global shortage of PPE kits, India had no PPE coveralls to tackle COVID-19. The entire requirement was being met through imports.
A month later, the production capacity has increased to 12,000 a day and is expected to reach 20,000 units next week.
At this rate, India will have produced around three lakh PPE units in April, while the requirement is estimated to be around 1.5 crore units.
With the WHO warning of a short supply of PPE – 40 percent of the global demand – on March 3, domestic production has been picking up. The textiles ministry has roped in Indian non-woven manufacturers to develop a fabric for COVID-19 PPEs as per the recommendation of the Health Ministry.
As of now, there are 12 fabric manufacturers who have gotten their prototypes approved by the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), the newspaper reported.
At least 25 additional manufacturers, including Aditya Birla Fashions and JCT Phagwara, are expected to join the bandwagon soon to augment the production of PPEs in the coming weeks.
However, government officials are of the view that the demand for PPE might be overstated, considering that the WHO has given clear guidelines of when it’s supposed to be used. For example, PPEs are not required for a healthcare staffer, whose activity is limited to the triage or wards. But, it is mandatory for those dealing directly with coronavirus patients.Sources told the paper that an empowered group of secretaries is keeping a close tab on the production and sourcing of PPEs, and that orders are expected to flow in soon. “China is the largest manufacturer and there is a huge rush from other countries too. But we are trying to ensure that there is no shortage,” an official said.