Syringes that are already facing a global shortage face a different crisis in Faridabad. A shutdown of syringe factories in Faridabad under the NCR pollution drive threatens to affect the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme according to industry representatives.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Rajiv Nath, Managing Director, Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd, has urged that syringe manufacturing facilities be allowed to run under the National Disaster Management Act to avoid a “national health care crisis”. Nath is also the Forum Coordinator of the Association of Indian Medical Devices Industry.

Disrupt supply chain

Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices (HMD), the country’s largest syringe and needle manufacturing company, along with more than 228 large factories of Faridabad, has been asked to shut down its factories ‘voluntarily’ as part of a pollution-control drive undertaken by authorities in the National Capital Region (NCR), Nath said. HMD alone contributes to over 66 per cent of syringe supplies in India for curative healthcare and immunisation.

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Nath said “At this location, HMD produces 1.5 crore needles and 80 lakh syringes daily. This has come to a halt now. As we can’t feed needles beyond two days buffer stock from Monday, other factories fed by the mother unit will be shut and 1.2 crore syringes will not be available nationally every day. The closure of needles and syringes manufacturing factories will create disruption in the supply chain which may impact healthcare delivery across the country in general and the Covid-19 vaccination programme in particular resulting in major shortage and other related issues.”

Environmentally-friendly factories

According to him, most of HMD’s plants are run on environmentally-friendly piped natural gas (PNG).

“We have captive PNG-based power generation. We do have standby diesel gensets, but they are hardly used since we have PNG that’s far cheaper and pollution free. We are not a polluting industry and one of our plants just got the Gold Certification for Green Building for meeting sustainability standards.”

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