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Local personal protective equipment: A step in the right direction

By Pradyu M

Mysuru, May 26:- ‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ said great philosopher Plato and in the case of our national manufacturing and producing PPE kits, the most wanted equipment in today’s war against COVID-19, the words come cent per cent apt! India was not manufacturing even single personal protective equipment (PPE) kit during pre-COVID days and the nation and those in the health and medical fields were a bit puzzled on how to get these to protect themselves as coronavirus landed in India during January.

As the virus started spreading its fatal tentacles in the months of February and March, there was an increase in the number of patients and those in the health care departments panicked a bit as we didn’t have domestic PPE kit manufacturing units and these were imported. But then many units manufacturing items similar to personal protection equipment came forward, joined hands with the Health Ministry and supported by state and centre started their mission of producing protective gears and what took place is history!

These units have now achieved a stupendous goal of producing more than three lakh PPE kits daily within two months after the coronavirus outbreak. A statistics report says that on an average, our domestic production is around 3 to 4 lakh per day which is truly mind-blowing! A nation which fully depended on foreign import of PPEs now has turned into a PPE manufacturing hub giving a beautiful lesson that nothing is impossible and if we have the guts and determination we can achieve anything.
A PPE kit, which doctors and healthcare workers wear during the treatment of COVID-19 patients, consists of a mask, shoe cover, face and eye shield, protective gown and gloves and these according to medical norms must be cent per cent safe and secured and let us be proud that our units are coming out with superb kits following international standard!
Within a short span of time, our nation has been able to increase the daily production of PPE kits to about 4 lakh per day.
At present, there are around 500 certified domestic manufacturers making PPE kits in the country and the government is taking steps to give permission for more units to make the gears as heavy numbers will be required in the coming months.
It is also good to know that some government institutes of excellence like South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factory, the Railways and the Navy are on their way to manufacture these kits.
With more and more companies supported by various ministries coming out with new ideas and technologies in a short time, India is definitely going to beat out China and become the world’s PPE manufacturing hub. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of a self-reliant India can definitely come true if the whole nation and its people unite together and promote our own products made in our own nation by our own companies.
(The writer is a regular contributor to City Today)

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