Health Ministry refutes low quality PPE charges

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday said that it is ensuring quality of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by stringent protocol.

The response came as the ministry was reportedly alleged about the quality of the PPE coveralls.

It said that the product under reference had no relevance to the procurement being made by the Central Government.

“HLL Lifecare Limited (HLL), the procuring agency of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is procuring PPE coveralls from manufacturers or suppliers only after getting them tested and approved by one of the eight labs nominated by the Ministry of Textiles (MoT). It is only after their products qualify in the test prescribed by the technical committee (JMG) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, that they are procured,” said the Health Ministry.

The ministry said the procuring agency HLL is also undertaking random sampling of the supplies being made, for which a testing protocol has been devised, failing to which the is being disqualified for any supplies.

The ministry has asked states also to procure the PPE only after following the prescribed testing for PPEs from MoT nominated labs. The Health Ministry said the manufacturers 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,” said the ministry.

It further said that the country has significantly ramped up its domestic production capacity of PPEs and N95 masks, and the requirements of the States and UTs are being sufficiently met.

As on Monday, the country is producing over three lakh PPEs and N95 masks per day. States and UTs as well as Central Institutions have been provided with around 111.08 lakh N-95 masks and around 74.48 lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Additionally, guidelines for rational use of PPEs have been issued by MoHFW and can be seen at its website. – Outlook India

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