With the rising number of novel coronavirus cases in India, the government notified that it is well aware of the limitations when it comes to procuring personal protective equipment (PPE). On Wednesday, Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry stated that the government is aware of disruption in the import of components required for PPE and masks.

Health Ministry on PPE, masks

Addressing the media, Aggarwal said: “As far as personal protection equipment (PPE) and masks are concerned, most of these have some imported components. There has been a disruption in the import of certain components required for PPE and masks. The government is aware of the situation from the time cases started reporting from other parts of the world.”

“We prohibited the export of masks-PPE as early as January 31. We’ve also started analysing the technical guidelines with respect to what type of PPE can be put to use based on the type of virus. We’ve started analysing the suppliers available in India,” he added.

In addition, he also stated that the Central government is being assisted by the suppliers through indigenous buyers as well. Aggarwal also added that DRDO and BEL have also been approached in order to ensure sufficient availibility of PPE to tackle the outbreak.”We’re taking their support to ensure that we can get production done through these indigenous buyers. We have even contacted DRDO and BEL and we are taking the support of all such agencies to see that we have sufficient availability in India,” he said.

Pan-India lockdown

Amid the rising Coronavirus cases in India, PM Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown throughout India starting at midnight on Tuesday. He said that 21 days were necessary for breaking the transmission cycle of the pandemic. The curfew is applicable to all states, districts, and villages – irrespective of whether they are currently under curfew or not.