India has significantly ramped up its domestic production capacity of personal protective equipment (PPE) and N95 masks, and the requirements of the states and union territories are being sufficiently met. At present, the country is producing more than 3 lakh PPE and N95 masks per day, the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) said today.

“States/UTs as well as Central Institutions have been provided with around 111.08 lakh N-95 masks and around 74.48 lakh PPE,” the MoHFW statement said.

In response to some reports in a section of the media expressing concern about the quality of PPE coveralls, the statement said that the products under reference have no relevance to the procurement being made by the Central government.

HLL Lifecare Limited (HLL), the procuring agency of the MoHFW, is procuring PPE coveralls from manufacturers/suppliers only after getting their coveralls tested and approved by one of the eight labs nominated by the ministry of textiles (MoT) for testing the same. It is only after their products qualify in the test prescribed by the technical committee (JMG) of the MoHFW, that they are procured,” the statement said.

Further, HLL is also undertaking random sampling of the supplies being made, for which a testing protocol has been devised. In case of any failure, the company is being disqualified for any supplies. All the States/UTs have been asked to ensure procurement which is being carried out at their level after following the prescribed testing for PPEs from MoT nominated labs.

In addition, manufacturers who have got their products qualified from these labs are also being on-boarded on Government e-Marketplace (GeM). The manufacturers who have got PPEs qualified have been advised by the MoT to on-board on to the GeM so that the procurement by states can be carried out accordingly. For the private sector also, the dynamic information of manufacturers whose products have qualified the tests is available on MoT website.

Additionally, MoHFW has also issued guidelines for rational use of PPE.