GUWAHATI, March 16 - As a precautionary measure to tackle any situation that may arise from the coronavirus pandemic, the State health department will start direct procurement of personal protection equipment (PPE) kits from manufacturers.
A senior official of the health department said that at present PPE kits are available in every district. Still, in order not to be caught off guard in case of deterioration in the situation, the department is planning to increase the stock of such kits. In connection with the matter, the department had floated tenders twice earlier, but did not receive response from any supplier, he said.
The PPE kit is needed for medical staff engaged in treatment of a COVID-19-infected people. In serious condition, other emergency service staff will have to use the kit as a preventive measure.
�We have adequate stocks of the PPE kit and hope there will not be any scarcity in the coming days. These kits are mainly needed for medical service providers. In general, maintaining personal hygiene is the best way to prevent the corona outbreak. We are working day and night and there is nothing to be panicky about,� an official of the National Health Mission, Assam said.
Meanwhile, a section of drug distributors on Monday stated that the demand for hand sanitisers has increased by 1,000 times in Assam after the coronavirus outbreak was reported in some parts of the country. Though the supply of sanitisers is very less against the demand, the drug distributors are optimistic that the scarcity will mitigate within a week.
�Earlier, very few people used to buy hand sanitisers from the market. So the supply was also very less. But for the past few days, the demand has been increasing at a rapid rate. So scarcity prevails in the market for both sanitisers and masks,� a drug distributor said.
On the other hand, despite the government closure notice, some schools and gymnasiums reportedly remained open in different parts of the city on Monday.
�There was a demo class session in the school and the annual examinations for class one to eight were also under way. So the school was opened in the morning hours till 10.45 am,� said an employee of the Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Silpukhuri here.