How India has decided to import second hand Ventilators over home grown product?
India is falling short of medical equipment to handle the pandemic numbers that are now mounting slowly. In an attempt to make up for the lack of ventilators, to start with, India has lifted a ban on imported but second hand ventilators. Used ventilators will not come into India and The Union Environment Ministry has given a deadline of September 2020.
According to medical experts, the second hand ventilators that are being sold to India are outdated and bad. India has already used 40,000 ventilators and has placed an order for almost the same numbers. After relaxing the import rules, hospitals will be getting these second hand ones or can retrieve the ones lying with customs. As on April 17, India has more than 11,000 active Covid-19 cases to tackle.
Speaking to a leading media agency, “Though it sounds like an attractive option, the government should not allow such imports without ensuring that these ventilators are complaint to HLL procurement specifications, tested at NABL accredited labs to delivery of services and spares over the next seven years minimum at their cost,” Rajiv Nath, the coordinator of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED).
Strangely, India has its own power in place. In March, the Biocon Chairperson and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw proposed to the Indian government that could procure the ventilators from a Mysuru based company Skanray Technologies could produce some 5000 pieces in a month. Taking to the twitter, she said that “they could ramp up their numbers if need be.” The company exports ventilators to Europe.
Strangely, many top companies are ready to help in producing such ventilators. These include General Motors and Mahindra Group. But Indian government has chosen to import second hand ventilators. Additionally, after the China procured 50,000 PPE kits failed quality tests, India has decided to produce its own.