Some of the major suppliers in the country have said that they have acute shortage of ventilators stock in view of the increasing demand worldwide amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Officials sources said the views were communicated at a recent review meeting held by Union Health ministry with around six to seven major international and national suppliers to assess their supply position, manufacturing capacity as well as the feasibility of importing ventilators.
"The meeting was held to assess the availability of ventilators in the country, including the local manufacturing capacity as well as supply through import.
"The companies stated acute shortage of stocks at hand, citing they had sent ventilators to other countries due to increasing demand among coronavirus-affected patients. Some quoted very few stocks in hand and have sought some time to supply the machines," a source said.
Some Indian companies also said the ban on the entry of commercial airlines in India would lead to paucity of components required to assemble ventilators.
Meanwhile, the Union Health ministry officials on Sunday said an order to procure 1,200 new ventilators has been placed and depending on the number cases, the number of isolation beds and ventilators will be ramped up across hospitals in the country.
According to sources there is an estimated 30,000 ventilators in India with every state having a varying number.
As the number of coronavirus cases soared to over 400, the Union Health ministry has asked hospitals and medical education institutes to procure sufficient number of ventilators and high flow oxygen masks to be prepared for any possible influx of patients.
"Hospitals must procure sufficient numbers of ventilators and high flow oxygen masks in preparation for future requirements.
"All hospitals must ensure that they have adequate trained manpower and resource pools for ventilator/ ICU care," an advisory issued by the ministry last week stated.
Health ministry officials said only five per cent of the total affected patients require critical care as they go on respiratory failure and need to put on ventilators while rest recover with supportive treatment.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)