Updated: April 15, 2020 9:58:44 am
Coronavirus (COVID-19): To meet its requirement of 15 million personal protection equipment (PPEs), which includes gowns, masks, gloves and goggles, India has now reached out to China and has placed orders. New Delhi is also in the process of procuring 1.5 million rapid testing kits from China, some of which have already been delivered.
These were revealed by Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri in an online briefing from Beijing on Tuesday. This essentially means that India is depending on China for the PPE overalls as Indian doctors have complained of shortage of PPEs in the hospitals.
The Indian Express had reported on April 6 that the central government has calculated that the country will require about 15 million PPEs and 1.6 million diagnostic kits in the next two months. This was conveyed to industry representatives during a meeting on April 3 of the empowered group of officials on “coordinating with private sector, NGOs and international organisations”, which is headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
This comes at a time when China is facing complaints of exporting low quality items from European countries. However, after facing criticism, China stepped up quality checks on exports of 11 categories of medical products, including masks, protective suits, goggles and ventilators.
Indian envoy to China Misri also said the two countries can cooperate on pharmaceuticals, specially the active pharmaceutical indicators (APIs).
These are being procured from Chinese companies by the Indian government and private companies. The Indian Embassy in Beijing is facilitating the procurement. China had donated 1,70,000 PPE coveralls earlier, officials said. More than 5,00,000 testing kits from China have already been delivered to various entities, while 1 to 1.5 million test kits are at different stages of procurement and production.
“I think facilitation of our needs and our requirements in a timely manner, in a smooth manner, on a predictable timeline at prices that are stable and orderly would be the best signal possible to send for the India-China relationship,” he said.
“This offers us opportunity of cooperating in smooth manner. We are identifying bona fide suppliers and entering into agreements. What is important is quality material continues to be available at reasonable and stable prices and we are able to re-establish freight and cargo lines (which were disrupted by initial impact of the coronavirus crisis),” Misri said.
“When China was at the height of dealing with this outbreak, we had offered and provided medical assistance,” the envoy said, referring to India dispatching 15 tons of medical supplies to China.
Misri said India appreciated efforts by China to ensure the quality of goods being exported and requested the Chinese government to expedite the new registration process of the local companies.
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