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Health Ministry clears decks for ventilator procurement

NEW DELHI: The health ministry said on Monday the first supplies of ventilators would start coming from the second week of April, as the government prepares for life after the lockdown when India might see a spike in serious Covid-19 cases.

The government is expected to procure 30,000 additional ventilators from Bharat Electronics, which is manufacturing a new model of the mechanical breathing device along with Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Karnataka-based Skanray.

According to rough estimates, there are only about 30,000 ventilators in India — every state has a different number. Manufacturers that ET spoke to said that the ratio of ventilators per ICU was low in the country. This could pose a major challenge if the number of Covid-19 cases increases in India, say to the level of Italy or Spain.

Looking at this shortage, companies like Skanray and M&M have teamed up with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for design and Bharat Electronics for manufacturing of these machines. A few days back there were issues with tendering process as certain state governments had not come forward with their requirement.

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