The Union Health Ministry while addressing a press conference on Sunday revealed that while there was a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits in the country, the government had started actively procuring them since January. In the press conference, Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Ministry revealed that while the government was importing PPE kits from other countries, there were some domestic manufacturers that had also started production. With 472 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country has gone up to 3,374.
"PPEs are imported. So there was a shortage initially in the country, but the Central government started taking action in this regard from January. Domestic manufacturers have started production. We have also started procuring PPE kits from other countries," said Lav Aggarwal.
The Health Ministry also stated that while the production of PPE kits was ongoing, it was important to use the current PPE kits rationally. "We have discussed this with all Health Secretaries, Chief Secretaries, and District Magistrates as this is one of the major issues. We've explained to them that PPE kits are available with us, and have been already dispatched to the States based on a case-load basis," said Lav Aggarwal.
He also answered queries on how the allotment of PPE kits to various states worked. Recently the Bihar Principal Secretary, Health Department, Sanjay Kumar had said that there was a shortage of PPE kits and N95 masks in the state. "Need to understand that allotment done by us is based on cases reported from States and we're parallelly making an effort to see that how should its procurement be increased. It has started easing out. In the coming weeks we'll be able to manage these issues to a large extent," said Lav Aggarwal.