Indian Railways is planning to manufacture Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) on a large scale after procuring the required raw materials as part of its efforts to combat novel coronavirus. According to a senior railway official, even though the masks produced by Indian Railways are not N95 masks, they are good enough for basic protection. Railways is also exploring manufacturing of ventilators and training its medical staff to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
The national transporter has manufactured hand sanitisers at a low scale as part of a trial run, according to The Financial Express. Indian Railways' Northern Railway carriage and wagons department in Firozpur and chemical and metallurgical unit officials manufactured hand sanitisers at a cost of Rs 310 per litre. The product reportedly carries a brand name 'IR'. Indian Railways was procuring sanitisers at a cost of Rs 190 per 100 ml before the COVID-19 pandemic in India reached a critical juncture.
Railways has cancelled all passenger train services including Premium trains, Express or Mail trains, Konkan Railways, Suburban trains, Kolkata Metro Rail till March 31. However, goods trains will continue to operate.
Meanwhile, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has also said it will produce 1 lakh masks per day and a large number of PPEs, including suits and garments for health workers. Mahindra Group CEO Anand Mahindra has also announced that the Mahindra Group factories will try to make ventilators.