Centre refutes charges of storing ventilators

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 22, 2021

Says there was no instance when it didn’t give the ventilators to States when they needed them

The Centre on Thursday clarified that it has not kept any ventilator in its inventory and said that every lot of ventilators that are ready for dispatch is getting dispatched to the States and union territories promptly. It said that there is no instance when it didn’t give the ventilators to States when they needed them.

It cited a media report which said “Centre kept 13,000 unused ventilators during Covid second wave crisis”. It said even out of the supplied ventilators, a large number of ventilators remained uninstalled in the States and even lying in their warehouses, as there was no demand from hospitals. “There are no ventilators which have been kept in the inventory by the Central Government and not given to States that needed them. Every lot of ventilators which are ready for dispatch is getting dispatched to the States/ UTs promptly. Therefore, the observations and interpretations drawn in the article are not based on the facts,” the Government stated in a statement.

Also read: Move to uplift healthcare infrastructure, a big relief for sector

The Health Secretary on April 11 wrote to a few States urging them to expedite the installation of ventilators, and to project further requirements if any in view of the surge in Covid cases during the second wave, the statement said while further adding that it had reminded the States multiple times about the same.

The government also said that it had placed orders at the start of the pandemic for the procurement of 58,850 ventilators. These were all Make-In-India ventilators considering the fact that there was a minimum possibility of sourcing imported ventilators from abroad in view of the fact that the global demand of ventilators had increased, and the ventilator manufacturing countries had also imposed export restrictions. The domestic capacity of manufacturing ventilators was very limited, and these manufacturers were encouraged to ramp up production, which they carried out by sourcing technology as well as undertaking tie-ups with companies who could assist them in augmenting the production, it added.

“The demand from the States for ventilators received till September 2020 was addressed through supplies. Thereafter negligible additional requirement was projected by the States. Till November 2020, almost entire quantity of ventilators demanded by the States had been delivered i.e., 35,398 ventilators. After November till March 2021, additional supply of ventilators was only 996 since the additional demand for ventilators was this much only,” the government further added.

Published on July 22, 2021

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