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Assam becomes first state to directly import PPE from China

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Assam has become the first state in the country to directly import personal protective equipment (PPE) kits from China to beef up stock of the commodity needed to combat COVID-19.

A cargo plane carrying 50,000 PPE kits from Guangzhou in China landed at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati on Wednesday evening after a five-hour direct flight.

“Indian government, as well as many countries across the world, are procuring PPE kits from China. We are the first state government to import the kits directly from China,” Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said after receiving the cargo at the airport.

“This has removed a big hurdle for us as we were buying PPE kits in small numbers and there was a worry about their continued availability. We will soon distribute these kits to our healthcare workers,” he added.

Prior to the arrival of the PPE kits from China, Assam had a stock of nearly one lakh kits. The state government plans to keep an available stock of two lakh PPE kits and keep replenishing it as and when it gets depleted.

Assam has 33 positive cases of COVID-19 till 8 am on Thursday. While 30 are under active treatment in various hospitals, two have been discharged and one has died.

105 fresh COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths in Gujarat during past 12-hours