Chandigarh: At a time when life-saving equipments are much in demand due to their short supplies, several companies in Punjab have come forward to manufacture protective gear and low cost-ventilators for medical professionals and patients to combat deadly coronavirus. More than 20 companies including technical textile makers in Punjab are in the process of developing and producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) bodysuits, N-95 masks, three ply masks and low-cost ventilators, officials said.
At least three companies have even managed to secure necessary approvals for producing PPE bodysuits from the SITRA (South India Textile Research Association) Coimbatore and several others are in the process of sending their samples for nod, they said. Punjab Additional Chief Secretary (Industry & Commerce) Vini Mahajan told PTI on Friday,
Three companies — JCT Mills, Phagwara; Evershine, Ludhiana and Navyug Laminates, Ludhiana have got approvals for making PPE suits and a few others have got their samples ready for testing.
The state industry department is actively engaged with industry players for extending all help including arranging low-cost finance to them for making life-saving products in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Mr. Majahan added,
This is an excellent example of partnership between the industry and the government and the industry is responding very well. A public sector company has placed an order of 10 lakh pieces with JCT Mills for PPE bodysuits.
JCT Mills has a capacity to manufacture 10,000 PPE coveralls per day while Evershine and Navyug have 5,000 and 150 pieces per day, respectively, said Punjab Director (Industries) Sibian C. Vishal Aggarwal of Evershine, a company which is into making garments said,
This is a godsend opportunity and we will give our best shot.
Among those companies which are into developing N-95 masks is Hoshiarpur-based industrialist Harbhagat Singh. He said,
We are in the process of developing N-95 masks as per government specifications and hope that the samples will get clearance from the testing lab in Gwalior.
Mr. Singh said his company is into the business of making masks but for industries into making chemicals and batteries etc. As many as nine industrial units have been identified for manufacturing triple layers masks, said Sibian C. A few industries have also come up with the idea of making low-cost ventilator — a mechanical bag valve mask ventilator — given the fact that there was acute shortage of this life-saving equipment.
Mohali-based Andel India, a biotechnology equipment maker, is developing a prototype of a low-cost ventilator. company’s MD Anu Bhutani said,
We have proposed to make this user friendly low cost ventilator at a price of Rs 5,000 a unit and it will be equipped with battery backup. I thought what can we do for our country at this moment and then this idea came up.
A state-owned Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Limited is manufacturing Sodium Hypochlorite that can be used for the purpose of sanitisation or disinfection of streets, the official said.