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West Bengal: Tantuja stitches in time, patches PPE shortfall holes

Across the state, in all hospitals, PPE is much sought after by doctors, nurse and other health workers. In many hospitals, medical staff have staged protests against the administration alleging lack of adequate PPE.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
April 6, 2020 5:39:55 am
coronavirus outbreak, Tantuja, PPE shortfall, Maheshtala workshop, west bengal news, indian express news Workers at a Maheshtala workshop in Kolkata manufacture 15,000 PPE kits daily. (Photo: Partha Paul)

For Haji Aasraf Ali, proprietor of a garment factory, these are busy times. Across the years, his company, Maheshtala Bright Tailors, has manufactured different kinds of uniforms. Now, when India and the rest of the world are fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Tantuja — a government undertaking — directed his company to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Across the state, in all hospitals, PPE is much sought after by doctors, nurse and other health workers. In many hospitals, medical staff have staged protests against the administration alleging lack of adequate PPE.

After taking cognizance of the urgent and large-scale requirement of PPE, the state government directed Tantuja to manufacture PPE. The firm recently sublet this tender to another garment manufacturing company, who used to supply garments to Tantuja.

Aasraf Ali said, “We had reconfigured the machines and for PPE, the raw materials are different. These are available at Asansol, Durgapur and Howrah. We told them to supply that. Previously, we manufactured mostly uniforms but we changed our machine’s configurations and learned about the cutting of PPE.”

He added, “Initially, we were a bit slow in terms of productivity. We used to manufacture 300-500 [PPE kits]. But now we are producing 15,000 daily. We can make this around 25,000 a day. Nearly 500 workers are employed here.”

Ali further said, “We are maintaining hygiene in every possible way and also adhere to social distancing during production time. Our workers also wear PPE.”

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