Coronavirus update

We gave an order to provide 10,000 ventilators for a PSU. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was also asked to purchase 30,000 additional ventilators within 1-2 months, "said Lav Aggarwal, a joint secretary with the Union Ministry of Health, at a press conference.The government is doing everything in its power to ramp up the country's medical ventilator output, amid reports of a shortage of this vital equipment in the fight against Covid-19, a senior official said Friday. "We have given an order to provide 10,000 ventilators to a PSU. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was also asked to purchase 30,000 additional ventilators within 1- months, "said Lav Aggarwal, a joint secretary with the Union Ministry of Health, at a press conference. BEL's under the ministry of defense.

"The Government is doing everything in its power to make the country's ventilators available," Aggarwal said. India's number of patients with Covid-19 soared to 724 Friday, Aggarwal said.
"So far, 724 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, and the total deaths are 17. There have been 75 new positive cases and 4 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, "Aggarwal said.

Experts said the country's estimated 40,000 operating ventilators said they would be ineffective in the event of an rise in Covid-19 infections sending patients to intensive care units (ICU) with acute breathing difficulties in about 5 percent of cases.The coronavirus is attacking the lungs of people, in some cases compromising their breathing ability as they develop pneumonia. Ventilators that inject oxygen through a tube in the windpipeto the lungs are crucial to keeping those patients alive.
 
India has banned exports of ventilators, cancelled elective surgeries to hold ICU beds on standby, and instituted a 21-day national lockdown to separate people from society. Mint reported that the government has relaxed restrictions on manufacturing ventilators, and  plans to allow all interested manufacturing firms, including automakers, to start manufacturing ventilators. Companies require a license to produce products which are classified under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Medical Device Rules as necessary medical equipment. However, considering the medical urgency this rule has been
waived but only if the manufacturer partners a licensed company.On Tuesday, the Center had reached out to five car manufacturers-Tata Motors Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), Hyundai Motor
India Ltd, Honda Cars India Ltd and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd-to discuss the possibility of making ventilators at their plants.
 
It also urged automakers to partner with nine companies that are currently manufacturing ventilators inIndia, and Tata Motors and M&M have already begun discussions with some of them, Mint said.
Social and religious groups have begun feeding the poor and migrant workers returning home in the absence of public transportation, and state governments haveopened community kitchens in shelter homes, recruiting police officers to distribute food packages in response to the coronavirus outbreak and the damage it has caused. On the third day of the three-week lockout, food supplies seemed to have improved after civil-right activists expressed fear that the needy and daily wage earners were at risk of going hungry if the state refused to come to their rescue.
 
 


In case of an rise in Covid-19 infections, the country said it would be inadequate.(Saumya Khandelwal / HT file photo.

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