New Delhi: India exported 23 lakh personal protection equipment to five countries including the US, the UK and the UAE in July after the government relaxed export norms and this has substantially helped the country to position itself in the global market of these kits, the Union Health Ministry said.
The other two countries are Senegal and Slovania, it said.
According to the ministry, the ‘Make in India’ spirit “embedded in the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan has resulted in providing resilience and self-sufficiency” to the country for various medical equipment including PPE.
While the Union government is supplying PPE kits, N95 masks, ventilators etc., to the state governments and union territories administrations, states are also procuring these items directly.
“Between March and August 2020, they have procured 1.40 crore indigenous PPE from their own budgetary resources. During the same period, the Centre has distributed 1.28 crore PPE to states, UTs and central institutions, free of cost,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Centre has been leading the graded, pre-emptive, proactive and collaborative response and management of COVID-19, along with the states union territories.
As part of its continued efforts towards progressively augmenting and strengthening the medical infrastructure across the country, various policy decisions have been taken on a regular basis.
At the start of the pandemic, there was a global shortage of all kinds of medical equipment including N95 masks, PPE kits, ventilators etc, the ministry underlined.
Most of the products were not being manufactured in the country in the beginning as many of the necessary components were to be procured from other countries. The rising global demand due to the pandemic resulted in their scarce availability in the foreign markets, it stated.
Turning the pandemic into an opportunity to develop its domestic market for production of medical equipment, with the combined efforts of ministries of health, textiles, pharmaceuticals, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Defence Research and Development Organisation and others, India has hugely ramped up its own manufacturing capacity, the ministry said.
“In view of the strengthened domestic production capacity and having met the domestic requirements for PPE, the revised notification of the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in July permitted export of these kits.
“As a result of this relaxation, in the month of July itself, India exported 23 lakh PPE to five countries. These include the USA, the UK, the UAE, Senegal and Slovania. This has substantially aided India to position itself in the global export market of PPE,” the statement said.