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PM Modi Directs Ministries to Increase Production of Medical Equipment amid Covid-19

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

PM Narendra Modi has asked government ministries to look for innovative ways to use their resources to set up manufacturing of medical equipment such as ventilators & scaling up their production.

The cabinet meeting chaired by the PM Modi discussed ways of using state-owned facilities and production units to boost manufacture, supply of medical equipment & setting up quarantine facilities.

Interestingly, the railway is mulling using its vast pool of coaches to be converted to isolation wards. It has already started working to use locomotive production units to manufacture ventilators and other medical equipment. As per a railway ministry official, “There is a plan to use vast pool of non-AC coaches for setting up isolation wards and about 20,000 such coaches had been identified for the same. Indian Railways have begun production of masks, sanitisers and other supplies.”

Adding to it, Railways has also been tasked with using its large manufacturing & locomotive production units, workshops to manufacture essential medical equipment like ventilators, hospital beds, and stretchers, on a war-footing.

Ministries such as Defence and the heavy industries & public enterprises are also asked to use their resources to ramp up production of medical gear. Defence ministry’s production units like R&D organization the Defence Research and Development Organisation or DRDO are exploring collaborations with private companies for production of ventilators.

The ministry of heavy industries has reached out to automobile manufacturers for utilising their manufacturing facilities for production of ventilators. The ministry has written to automakers seeking their help to aid the government.

Pawan Goenka, Mahindra and Mahindra Limited MD, said, “We are working on an automated version of the Bag Valve Mask ventilator (commonly known as Ambu bag). We hope to have a proto ready in three days for approval. After proven this design will be made available to all for manufacturing,”

The availability of ventilators will be an important determinant in India’s success to keep the mortality rate of coronavirus patients down. India needs around 2.1 ventilators per 10,000 patients to battle the outbreak, as per the medical experts.

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