Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Medical equipment land at Calcutta airport

Calcutta: Ventilators from Switzerland, infrared thermometers from China and personal protection gear from Chennai — equipment for treating Covid-19 patients and those suspected to have contracted the virus — have started arriving at Calcutta airport since last week, officials said.

As the state prepares to fight a possible spurt in coronavirus cases, government and private hospitals are buying vital treatment and diagnostic equipment from other countries and states.

“Since it’s an emergency situation, we are getting most equipment by air,” a state government official said.

The consignments started arriving last Friday, officials at the airport’s cargo terminal said.

The state is in talks with export and import agents to procure a large number of Covid-19 test kits and ventilators, airport sources said. Quotations have also been sought for protective gear such as goggles, N-95 masks, disposable surgical gowns and masks, personal protective equipment (PPE) and gloves. Most of these have to be flown in from China, health department sources said.

The government is also planning to procure civil epidemic prevention equipment such as daily-wear masks and forehead thermometers.

A consignment of 5,000 infrared thermometers has arrived from China. Three ventilators ordered by the government of a northeastern state were flown in from Zurich on a special cargo aircraft last week, said airport officials.

A SpiceJet cargo aircraft brought 277 boxes containing PPE for doctors and healthcare workers. The consignment also contained gloves, caps and shoe covers for government hospitals across the state, an official said.
31/03/20  Sanjay Mandal/Telgraph

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