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Health ministry asks auto cos to make ventilators

The Centre has instructed India’s automobile manufacturers to use their facilities to manufacture ventilators to boost the country’s capacity of such machines in view of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has also been roped in to manufacture 20,000 N-95 masks per day from the next week.

According to the health ministry estimates, over 14,000 existing ventilators are earmarked for COVID-19 patients in various hospitals in the country, while there are 11.95 lakh N-95 masks in stock. The ministry also said that 5 lakh masks were distributed during the last two days and 1.40 lakh will be distributed on Monday. 3.34 lakh personal protection equipment (PPE) coveralls are available with hospitals in the country and another 3 lakh donated coveralls will be received from abroad by April 4.

The Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Defence, has also been asked by the health ministry to manufacture 30,000 ventilators in the next two months in collaboration with local manufacturers.