50,000 PPE Kits from China to Undergo all Quality Checks before Use: Assam Health Minister

50,000 PPE Kits from China to Undergo all Quality Checks before Use: Assam Health Minister

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Guwahati, April 16, 2020:

After a consignment of 50,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits reached Assam from Guangzhou in China, it caused apprehensions in the minds of a certain section of the public with some of the following questions being raised: are the kits that have been purchased by Assam suitable for use? Have they been tested at an Indian facility? If yes, what is the verdict?

While contacted by Inside Northeast, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has confirmed that all the kits will indeed undergo every procedure to ascertain that they clear the benchmark. Sarma said that the Assam Health Department will follow all due procedure of testing and the shipment is CE/FDA verified product, as prescribed by the Government.

Sarma further informed that all the products will be cleared by customs first, after which they will undergo lab tests and quality checking. After all these checkings are done, the delivery process will be formalized, Sarma added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the questions over Assam's procurement of the PPE kits from China abounded after an  Economic Times report that stated tens of thousands kits donated to India, made by China, failed to meet the safety standards.

Out of 1,70,000 kits that India received on 5th April, 50,000 failed during safety checks. Two smaller consignments of 30,000 and 10,000 kits also failed the quality test, the report added. It may be recalled here that entrepreneur Mukesh Ambani had also recently donated 10,000 such kits to the Government of Assam for the frontline personnel.

The kits were tested at the Defence Research & Development Organisation laboratory in Gwalior, where they were deemed “unusable.” According to reports, the kits that failed the test were purchased by big donors. “The number of orders being placed is growing. China is the major supplier. We were totally dependent on imports earlier and never expected that there would be a surge in demand,” a senior government official told the business daily.

While government officials said they are procuring CE/FDA certified PPE kits only, these kits donated by the big private companies in India have failed to make the mark.

This report, incidentally, has come to the fore a day after the Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that the state had imported 50,000 PPE kits from the Chinese city of Guangzhou. Posing in front of the airliner bringing the shipment, the Health and Finance Minister had tweeted, “Another BIG reason to cheer! Keeping life first as the motive, we’re glad to have imported 50,000 PPE kits from Guangzhou,China. I am happy to receive this special flight along with Pijush Hazarika, at 


data-focusable="true">#Guwahati airport just now. A big reassurance for our doctors & nurses.

Meanwhile, the local production of PPE kits has increased to 30,000 kits per day. So far, 1.3 lakh suits have already been produced in the country. The government estimates India will be in a comfortable position if it had 20 lakh PPE suits to meet the demands amid rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.

To meet the shortfall, an order for an additional 1 million suits has been placed through traders, including a Singaporean company. However, all these suits will be sourced from China only, and will arrive in the first week of May.

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Apr 17, 2020