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Textile Ministry steps up procurement of PPE

Apr 16, 2020
Textile Ministry steps up procurement of PPE

The Textile Ministry has procured 1,30,000 coverall suits from Indian producers amid a shortage of the protective gear being used by health care workers while treating coronavirus disease patients. According to officials familiar with the matter, the producers have reached a daily production capacity of 22,000 units.

Since domestic production of the PPE suits began last month, 33 Indian producers have passed the quality tests laid down under norms stipulated by the WHO. Earlier, the country relied on international players for the for the suits.

“This is a significant achievement considering that we had started from nowhere a month back, and the fabric had to be developed in the country for the first time. We hope to touch 50,000 units daily in the coming week, which will stabilise the supply chain,” said a senior textile ministry official, on condition of anonymity.

The daily production capacity for the suits has been steadily growing with new producers making the cut. It was 16,000 units on April 10, as many as 15,700 on April 9 and 11,500 on April 8, said officials. Officials said that an additional two lakh PPE suits have come in from China through Indian donors. South India Textile Research Association officials said that the number of producers writing to them for approvals has risen.

However, some of the untested producers were selling the units to private players, prompting the ministry to lay down new norms under which all PPE units will have a Unique Certification Code and tamper-proof stickers in indelible ink, officials said.