When COVID 19 pandemic hit India, the country was mostly dependent on imported PPE Kits, N-95 Masks and Ventilators that too without any specifications prescribed for these products considered essential in fight against this pandemic. However, in no time the government recognised the challenges and ensured adequate supplies of all these essential items all across the country.
Even the cost of ventilators has decreased heavily from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh as dependency on imports has been reduced due to their indigenous production. In the meanwhile, the health ministry has ensured delivery of over 36,433 ventilators to the Government run hospitals across the states and UTs. At the same time, the restrictions on export of ventilators have also been removed due to their enough production on the back of Make in India initiatives.
The suppliers of N-95 masks have also grown substantially to above 3000 manufacturers of these masks registered on the GeM Portal. The production of N-95 masks has also risen to over 8 lakh masks per day. While N-95 masks are being distributed free of cost to various states and UTs, they are also being exported from the country. Even the government has also placed orders for over 83 crore syringes for vaccination to prevent Covid 19 under its Universal Immunization Programme.
In terms of PPE kits as well India has now become independent and has achieved the distinction of becoming the world’s second largest manufacturer producing over 10 lakh PPE kits per day and it makes the country capable to export PPE kits to several countries.
The country has more than 1,700 registered manufacturers and suppliers of PPE Kits on Government of India e-Marketplace (GeM) web Portal. Thanks to their fast track production the buffer stock of PPE kits with the Central as well as the State Governments has grown from about 2 lakh in the last 10 months to more than 89 lakh currently. Even the average cost of the PPE kits has also come down drastically from average Rs.600 to almost Rs.200 per PPE kit.