The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), which was facing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) suits for its doctors and nurses, said it had sufficient stock to last a couple of months.
“We have procured enough stock of PPE suits for our medical team. At the initial stages, there was shortage of protective gear. But now more manufacturers have come forward to make protective gear,” said PCMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil.
Patil said the PCMC had two key hospitals that are treating coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. “One is the YCM hospital. We have turned it into a COVID-19 hospital after moving patients to the neighbouring Dr DY Patil hospital,” he said.
Patil said since PPE suits were “use and throw”, sufficient stock was required. “We are taking care to ensure that we have an advance stock of PPE suits and don’t fall short,” he said.
Patil said PPE suits were the all-important gear for medical staff and they remained top priorities for the civic body among other medical accessories that needed procurement.
Top civic officials said they had earmarked certain manufacturers and different sources, who had promised to ensure that civic hospitals did not fall short of PPE suits. They said some techies had also approached them to ensure that the PCMC got sufficient PPE gear.
Online portal to connect to medical equipment suppliers
A team of volunteers in Pune have launched a non-profit online platform to connect medical equipment seekers with validated suppliers.
A Pune-based social start-up, ‘AssembleNow’, is offering free service to facilitate procurement of PPE and other protective gear for healthcare service providers.
Abhishekh Purohit, founder of the e-platform, said, “Our platform serves as a go-to place for sourcing medical equipment like PPE, testing kits and other gear for medical workers. The team of volunteers with relevant expertise are rigorously validating application of suppliers to ensure fast, efficient and transparent supply chain.”
Purhoit said, “The world is facing a shortage of critical medical equipment and India is no exception. To combat the crisis, we must ensure the availability of equipment like PPE, thermometers, testing kits, disinfectants at all facilities providing COVID-19 services.”
He said some of the causes of delay that they had observed were finding new suppliers who had quality goods, logistical challenges during lockdown and filtering of a long chain of middlemen to avoid price gouging.
“Our platform has been built with an aim to solve these challenges. We are reaching out to medical equipment buyers and suppliers to place their requests by filling out a simple form on our website. We will validate and connect them to ensure availability of equipment at all times,” Purohit said.
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