Current AffairsIndia

Centre refutes reports of ventilators lying unused in Punjab hospital

New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday dismissed as ‘unfounded’ media reports claiming that ventilators in Faridkot Medical College are lying unused.

Responding to the reports, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement, ‘the ventilators are lying unused as a result of technical glitches which have not been resolved due to poor after-sales support by the manufacturers. These reports seem to be unfounded, not having the full information on the matter.’

Since the manufacturing of ventilators in the country at the beginning of the pandemic was limited and most of the suppliers abroad were not in a position to make supplies in large quantities to India. That is when the local manufacturers were encouraged to produce “Make in India” Ventilators to address the huge projected demand.

Many of them were first time manufacturers of the ventilators. The ventilator models went through rigorous screening, technical demonstration and clinical validation process in the very limited time available for the same, through domain knowledge experts, and after their approval, these were put into supplies, it said.

The Ministry stated that there are a few states which have received the ventilators but are yet to get these installed in their hospitals. Union Health Secretary has written to seven such States on 11th April 2021 which still have more than 50 ventilators lying uninstalled with them for the last 4-5 months.

With reference to the recent media report regarding 71 of 80 AGVA make ventilators being non-functional or faulty at the GGS Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, Punjab it is clarified that 88 ventilators have been supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and five by AGVA. After successful installation and commissioning, these ventilators were provided with a Final Acceptance Certificate by the hospital authorities.

BEL has informed that the bulk of the ventilators at GGS Medical College Hospital (GGSMCH), Faridkot are not faulty, as are being reported in a section of the media. Their engineers have visited the said Medical College on different occasions in the past to address the complaints received and carried out minor repairs required promptly. They have even conducted repeated demonstrations of the functioning of the ventilators to the staff over there, it clarified.

Furthermore, BEL engineers visited GGSMCH again today on Wednesday and made five ventilators functional only by replacing a few consumables and demonstrated their optimum performance to the GGSMCH authorities, thereby, further making it evident that when operated properly, the ventilators will provide reliable performance, the statement read.

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