Tens of thousands of Chinese PPE kits fail India safety test

India continues to see a deficit in the supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare, even as the government ramps up domestic production substantially, and some Chinese kits failed quality tests. Many kits manufactured in China, the world's biggest manufacturer, donated to the Indian government, were found unusable because security checks failed, an individual who was aware of the matter told ET. Of the 170,000 PPE kits that arrived on April 5 in India, about 50,000 failed quality tests.

by Niranjani Jesentha Kumari Prabagararaj

Updated: Apr 17, 2020 20:28 IST

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The kits were tested at the Gwalior Laboratory of the Defense Research & Development Organisation. Although government officials said that only CE/FDA approved PPE kits are being procured, some consignments obtained as donations have failed the quality checks and cannot be used. "Kits which are not FDA/CE-approved must pass quality tests in India," said the individual.

Consignments that failed the quality tests are those obtained as donations from Indian major private corporations, the individual said, without naming the donors.

To meet the shortfall, an order has been put through traders for an additional 1 million suits, including a Singaporean company, said people with knowledge of the proposal. All suits will only be sourced from China.

We will have these suits by the end of the first week of May. They're adding more orders, "they said. The government reports that, if it had 2 million PPE suits, India would be in a comfortable position. Government officials said not to panic.

Domestic PPE production has risen to 30,000 kits per day, reaching the target a week earlier than planned, and is expected to reach 50,000 by the end of the month. We've created over 150,000 suits cumulatively, and should be able to manufacture an additional 100,000 by the weekend, "the people said.

India procured additional machines needed to produce the suits. "There will soon be another 30 hot air seam sealing machines," an official said; meanwhile PTI announced on Wednesday that China asked all countries to import these products through reputable Chinese firms approved by the government and vowed to punish those involved in counterfeit conduct.

 

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