Supply lines from abroad opened up today with the receipt of 1.70 lakh Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) coveralls from China which have been donated to the Government of India. Along with domestic supplies of 20,000 coveralls, a total of 1.90 lakh coveralls will now be distributed to hospitals and will add to the 3,87,473 PPEs already available in the country as of now. A total of 2.94 lakh PPE coveralls have been arranged and supplied by Government of India now.
In addition to this, 2 lakh domestically produced N95 masks are also being sent to various hospitals. Including these, over 20 lakh N95 masks have been supplied by Government of India. About 16 lakh N95 masks are presently available in the country, and this figure will increase with the fresh supply of 2 lakh masks.
Major portions of the fresh supplies are being sent to States with comparatively higher number of cases such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan. Supplies are also being sent to central institutions like AIIMS, Safdarjung and RML hospitals, RIMS, NEIGRIHMS, BHU and AMU.
The commencement of foreign supplies marks a major milestone in our efforts to procure personal protection equipment for the battle against COVID-19. An order for 80 lakh complete PPE kits (including N95 masks) had been placed on a Singapore based platform earlier and now it has been indicated that supplies will commence from 11th April, 2020 with 2 lakh, followed by 8 lakh more in a week. Negotiations are in final stages with a Chinese platform for placing an order of 60 lakh complete PPE kits, which will also include N95 masks. Separate orders for N95 masks and protective goggles are also being placed on some foreign companies.
Giving a further fillip to domestic capabilities, Northern Railways have developed a PPE coverall. This is in addition to the PPE coveralls and N99 masks developed by DRDO earlier. Efforts are now being made to start mass production of these products. Existing N95 mask producers have increased their capacity to about 80,000 masks per day.