Upgrading health logisticsApprox Read Time: 4 minutes
- In a move to ensure smooth supplies of ventilators and PPEs like masks and coveralls, the government is taking various efforts.
Efforts for upgrading health logistics:
21 Lakh PPE kits ordered, 60,000 supplied to hospitals:
- PPE kits (used by medical personnel working in isolation areas and intensive care units to protect them from acquiring infections) were not being manufactured in the country so far.
- On the backdrop of reports of shortage of such PPEs faced by doctors and healthcare workers across the country, the government is now taking steps to promote their manufacturing in the country.
- The health ministry has placed orders for 21 lakh personal protection equipment (PPEs) coveralls for medical staff dealing with Covid-19 patients with 11 domestic manufacturers.
- While around 60,000 PPE kits have already been procured and supplied to hospitals and healthcare workers across the country.
- India is also tapping foreign sources like suppliers from Singapore and Korea and is in the process of placing orders.
- Similarly, the government has placed orders for masks and ventilators.
Government may abolish import duty on ventilators, masks:
- In recent days as the number of patients has gone up, so has the requirement in Indian hospitals and domestic production of these items is seen to be insufficient.
- It has also led to a spike in prices of key products that are needed, with some of the manufacturers seeking to take advantage of the spike in demand.
- The elimination of customs duty will help keep prices of these essential items under check.
- Thus, as a part of its fight against coronavirus, the government may do away with import duty on various medical devices and gear, including ventilators, protective masks and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
- There have been recommendations from ministries to also remove Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on these items, and a final call on this will have to be taken by the GST Council.
- The basic customs duty and IGST on these products may be eliminated for three-to-six months and once normalcy is restored, duties can be reimpose.
PM Modi puts all Indian envoys on Mission Covid:
- PM Modi has conversation with almost all of India’s ambassadors serving in different parts of the world to appreciate a mammoth effort by Indian diplomats during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- He also asked the India’s ambassadors serving in different parts of the world to leverage bilateral relationships to source equipment, technology as well as joint R&Ds to help India deal with the epidemic.
- The envoys also provided feedback about lessons learnt from the experiences in their host countries.