GUWAHATI, March 26 - As the entire country is facing shortage of masks and body coveralls used by the medical professionals, the Government of India has decided to allow a number of private firms to produce it after testing the capability of the firms to maintain quality. The Ministry of Textiles is coordinating between the concerned Ministries and Departments to facilitate smooth production and distribution of the materials to the states.
Highly placed sources in the Government of India told The Assam Tribune that an emergency control office has also been set up in the Ministry of Textiles to monitor the process round the clock and an Assamese officer, Padmapani Bora is also with the team involved in monitoring the process to ensure that adequate masks and body coveralls are produced in the country to meet the demand.
Sources said that normally the HLL Healthcare Limited, a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Health manufactures the N 95 and two and three layer marks for the use of the medical professionals. However, body coveralls were not manufactured in India and those were imported whenever required.
As no pandemic like the highly infectious coronavirus hit the country for years, the requirement of producing it was not felt.
Sources said that as after the outbreak of coronavirus, a huge shortage of masks and body coveralls was faced by the country, the Government decided to engage private firms to produce it. After conducting a survey of the firms across the country and laboratory testing of their materials, the Government has decided to allow around 15 firms to manufacture masks as well as body coveralls and the process of manufacturing of it has started.
Sources said that the firms engaged for the manufacture of the masks and coveralls would hand over the products to the HLL Life to be distributed to the states as per requirements. The special team of the Ministry of Textiles is coordinating between the State Governments, firms and the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure smooth supply of both raw materials and finished products. The Textile Ministry has also posted its own officers in the firms engaged so that the products cannot be sold in the open market. The officers posted in the firms will keep records of every piece of mask and coveralls produced and report to the Ministry.
Though sources refused to divulge the exact number of masks and coveralls sought to be produced, they said that soon there would be no shortage of it.