Union Minister Smriti Irani announced on Twitter on Monday that India is now producing over 4.5 lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits daily and that now over 600 companies in the country are certified to manufacture PPEs. India, which was earlier not manufacturing a single PPE kit, now has almost doubled its production rate in just 2 weeks — on May 5, the country was producing 2.06 lakh PPE kits daily.
India started manufacturing PPE kits within two months of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier, all PPE kits were being imported.
A PPE kit consists of a mask, eye shield, shoe cover, gown, and gloves, which doctors and healthcare workers wear during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Two weeks ago, only 52 companies were manufacturing PPE kits. This has seen a sharp increase as India now has 600 companies that are certified to manufacture PPEs, Smriti Irani said.
Early this month, the centre said it has ordered 2.22 crore PPEs of which 1.43 crore will be made by domestic manufacturers. 80 lakh PPE kits are to be imported, the centre said.
PPEs for health workers and others on the frontline of the coronavirus fight have been in huge demand. Many small companies, even villages have been manufacturing kits for the government.
200 women of Lakkavaram village are producing masks, shoe covers and lab coats in bulk and supplying them to the state government. Each day, they produce 15,000 masks, 6,000 shoe covers and 5,000 lab coats.
Companies like Alok Industries, JCT Phagwara, Gokaldas Exports, Aditya Birla, are some of the domestic PPE kits manufacturers.