The government has distributed more than 3.04 crore N95 masks and over 1.28 crore personal protection equipment (PPE) kits among the states, Union territories and central institutions for free since March 11, the health ministry said on Thursday. Also, more than 10.83 crore hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets have been distributed among them, it added.
In addition, 22,533 "Make in India" ventilators have been delivered to various states, Union territories and central institutions, the ministry said, adding that the Centre is also ensuring the installation and commissioning of the machines. The central role of the government has been in strengthening the health infrastructure of the states and Union territories to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure its effective management, the ministry underlined.
Along with augmenting the COVID-19 facilities, the Centre is also providing medical supplies to the states and Union territories for free. "Most of the products supplied by the Government of India were not being manufactured in the country in the beginning. The rising global demand due to the pandemic resulted in their scarce availability in the foreign markets," the ministry said.
With the combined efforts of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Pharmaceuticals, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and others, the domestic industry has been encouraged and facilitated to manufacture and supply essential medical equipment such as PPEs, N95 masks, ventilators etc., it added.
"As a result, resolve for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and 'Make in India' has been strengthened and most of the supplies made by the Union Government are domestically manufactured," the health ministry underscored.