Government hospitals asking for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are reportedly being told that the equipment will take at least 25 to 30 working days to be delivered.
HLL Lifecare, the central PPE procurement agency for the government, has told hospitals that due to a short supply of raw materials required to manufacture PPE the orders have been delayed, The Time of India reported.
According to officials, this delay is not good news for health facilities dealing with the shortage of PPE. In many hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health care workers are worried and have started to protest against the shortage of PPEs as it puts them at great risk while treating coronavirus patients.
According to HLL Lifecare sources, materials for PPE are made by different manufactures and supplied erratically as most manufacturers are from the small and medium sectors. There are only a few collection centers where the materials are assembled into PPE kits. There is also a delay in getting the PPE kits from these centers to the hospitals, HLL Lifecare sources told the daily.
The same sources said that over 80,000 PPE kits have already been sent to hospitals. The government had already roped in 11 Indians firms to manufacture PPE suits and two firms for making masks. The government is looking to add more firms to the list in an effort to boost production of equipment.
The government has posted nodal officers at factories to oversee the production of PPEs and solve transport problems. According to the textile ministry, they hope to manufacture 8,000 protective suits per day by March 30. However, according to the daily, the requirement is for 10 lakh protective suits. Even if the government manufactures 8,000 suits per day, it would take four months to fill the requirement. While some health officials worry that even 10 lakh suits might not be enough to deal with the pandemic.Also Read: Coronavirus in India Live updates: Govt denies extension of 21-day lockdown