As the country continues its battle against the coronavirus, China, the world’s main supplier of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, has sent some poor quality kits to India, which were found to be unusable as they failed the safety tests, The Economic Times reported on Thursday. However, the ones which failed the quality checks were given to the Indian government as donations by private companies.
Of the 1.7 Lakh kits that arrived in India on April 5, about 50,000 failed the quality test, a person aware of the matter told ET. “Two small consignments with 30,000 and 10,000 PPE kits, too, failed tests,” the person said.
The report stated that the kits were tested at the Defence Research & Development Organisation laboratory in Gwalior. The government is procuring only CE/FDA certified PPE kits and non-certified kits need to pass the quality tests in India, the person said, adding that those kits which came as donations failed these tests and hence, were rejected. He, however, refused to identify the private companies which donated these kits.
To meet the shortfall, an additional order of 10 lakh kits has been placed with a Singaporean company, people with knowledge of the plan told ET. However, even those additional kits will be sourced through China only. “By the end of May first week, we should have these suits. More orders are being placed,” they said.
“Domestic PPE production has increased to 30,000 kits a day, hitting the target a week earlier than scheduled, and is expected to touch 50,000 by the end of the month. Cumulatively, we have produced over 150,000 suits and should be able to manufacture an additional 100,000 by the weekend,” ET quoted people as saying, adding that there is no need to panic.
Meanwhile, China has asked all the countries to import these items through reputed Chinese firms cleared by the government and vowed to punish those involved in counterfeit behaviour.