Friday, March 20, 2020

Aviation ban may cause shortage of ventilators in India

Mumbai: India’s ventilator manufacturers said the ban on commercial airlines to land in India would cause a shortage of vital components required to assemble the machines. They fear disruptions in the supply of the respirators that are essential to treat serious cases of coronavirus infection.
Late on Thursday, India banned the exports of ventilators, certain kinds of masks, and textile raw materials for masks and coveralls, to prevent shortage of these in India. But for manufacturing the ventilators locally, companies said they needed imported components.
ET spoke to several companies that supply ventilators to private and government hospitals. They said there was already a supply disruption due to shutdowns at component makers based out of Europe and China and that the ban on international flights would add to the strain.
Mumbai-based Median Healthcare, a manufacturer, had placed an order for LCD screens used in ventilators that were due to arrive next week. It is worried that the ban would affect the arrival of the consignment and that it would not be able to meet the demand of customers that had placed orders.
According to rough estimates, there are about 30,000 ventilators in India — every state has a different number. Lifeline Biz MD Vineet Acharya said the ratio of ventilators per ICU was low in the country. “The ventilator crisis will come up if and when India reaches the number as Italy’s,” Acharya said. “Let’s hope we don’t reach the Italy numbers, because then we are in big trouble.”
20/03/20 Divya Rajagopal/Economic Times

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