The Indian Health Ministry has informed that since March 11, 2020, more than 3.04 crore N95 masks and more than 1.28 crore PPE kits have been given to states, Union Territories and central institutions free of cost to handle corona virus.
Also, more than 10.83 crore HCQ tablets have been distributed to them. In addition, 22533 ‘Make in India’ ventilators have been delivered to states and union territories. The Centre is also ensuring their installation and commissioning.
The ministry has pointed out that when the pandemic initially hit India, these products were not manufactured in the country but now manufacturing of these products is being encouraged and supply to health facilities is being ensured.
According to the ministry, in the relentless work of state governments for containment and management of Covid-19, the Union Government’s central role has been in strengthening health infrastructure to fight the pandemic and its effective management.
Along with augmenting Covid-19 facilities, the Central government has been providing medical supplies free of cost to the state and UT governments to supplement their efforts. Most of the products supplied by the government 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.
With the combined efforts of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Ministry of Textiles and 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 like PPEs, N95 masks, ventilators etc., during this period.