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48,000 ventilators in 70 years, 50,000 with PM CARES: Govt, BJP on how fund is being used

Officials quoted study by researchers affiliated to Washington-based Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy and Princeton University to say 47,481 ventilators are available in India.

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New Delhi: On Monday, several BJP leaders, including party general secretary B.L. Santosh, Jayant Sinha and Sambit Patra, tweeted a picture of a domestically-manufactured ventilator funded through the PM CARES Fund.

This comes at a time when questions are being raised about how the emergency and relief fund, set up on 28 March to fight the Covid-19 outbreak, is being used.

BJP spokesperson Patra tweeted that till date only 47,000 ventilators were available in public and private hospitals in India whereas because of Narendra Modi’s PM CARES Fund, in one stroke, 50,000 ventilators have been made available.

“PM CARES for each one of us,” Jayant Sinha tweeted.

Production and initial supply of ventilators have started

Senior government officials told ThePrint that the initial supply of 50,000 domestically-manufactured ventilators funded through PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance & Relief in Emergency Situations) has started arriving. The ventilators will be supplied to government-run hospitals in the state and the Centre.

On 13 May, the government allocated Rs 2,000 crore from the fund for procuring ‘Made in India’ ventilators.

“Domestic manufacturers are already on the job and the entire supply of 50,000 ventilators will be ready in next few months. This will be the first time that India is manufacturing such a large number of ventilators,” a senior government official, who did not want to be named said.

Government officials Monday also quoted the April 2020 study done by a team of researchers affiliated with the Washington-based Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy and Princeton University to say that till date 47,481 ventilators are available in hospitals in public and private sectors in India.

‘There used to be 6-7 ventilator manufacturers in India’

“In India, there used to be just six to seven ventilator manufacturers. Majority of it was imported, costing anywhere between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 16 lakh. Compared to this, the ventilators that are being made in India cost between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh,” a senior government official told ThePrint.

Domestic companies, including Mahindra Rise and Noida-based AgVa, are among the companies that have started manufacturing ventilators in India since the Covid-19 outbreak.

The study estimated that approximately 19 lakh hospital beds, 95,000 ICU beds and 48,000 ventilators are available in India. Most of the beds and ventilators are concentrated in seven states — Uttar Pradesh (14.8%), Karnataka (13.8%), Maharashtra (12.2%), Tamil Nadu (8.1%), West Bengal (5.9%), Telangana (5.2%) and Kerala (5.2%).

Based on the estimates, the study says that accommodation of influx of Covid-19 patients, will require rapid expansion of current capacity or modifications in admission policy for routine patient care.

Since it was set up on 28 March, PM CARES has invited criticism from different quarters, including the opposition, who have questioned the opacity around the fund. The Prime Minister’s Office, which administers the fund, is tight-lipped about the total amount the fund has received so far and the parameters for its disbursal.

Senior government officials familiar with the matter had earlier told ThePrint that total donations to PM CARES until the third week of May has touched approximately Rs 10,000 crore.


Also read: Modi govt looking to set up social security fund to support migrant workers


 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Are these genuine ventilators, or the sort of contraptions made by a Rajkot firm which were in news recently?

  2. The Print should also run an investigation on the actual cost of making these ventilators. There is a lot of speculation around whether this would ‘cost’ 4 lacs per unit or lesser. If this is being done for a pandemic profit margins should not ideally be included. Also, bulk manufacturing should provide economies of scale. The claim that imported ventilators cost 16 lacs seems exaggerated as a lot of Medtronic ventilators are available below 10 lacs. A specification match will help clarify this either way.

  3. Before 2014 she was a teenager and not even married. Under Modi’s rule she has 3 kids. Thats the progress you make under BJP rule.

  4. From last 70 years also tax payers were paying, but at least now the amount is being spent on people’s welfare/infrastructure and not eaten freely like previously

  5. Or the way I see it is only 48,000 ventilator in 8000 years of indian civilization but modi ji bought 50,000 out of his pocket money which india gifted to him. It was our donation to the govt. and they should thank people for giving them money out of pity for their countrymen regardless of paying taxes of which the govt. wants a central vista not ventilators or revamp the health infrastructure. Also, pretty lame copy paste journalism when the journalist could have presented an analysis of ventilators evolved over the years rather just informing about the tweets or even questioned the politicians pre-truth .

    • Well, the Indian Nation Congress had all the money and the time in their hands, why did not they do so??

    • Thats an inbalanced argument, So congress was not getting tax from indians, never collected donations in time of national pandemic,

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