Like any other nation, India, too, felt overwhelmed with the emergence of COVID-19. There was a hasty surge of demand linked to safeguarding the health of healthcare personnel against the virus. To combat it and provide care for victims, doctors needed ample equipment.
The country started boosting its manufacturing of PPE kits. It is hence requisite to have a PPE inventory management. This will facilitate preserving accurate inventory and eradicating any missteps made by humans. To meet the brisk demands, the textile industry majorly picked up the slack.
There was a swell in the manufacture of N95 masks, testing swabs, and PPE kits. But the mayhem was generating losses and offering major errors. The manufacturers were experiencing crucial troubles and fell prey to fallacies committed by their team in estimating and management.
But the inception of PPE inventory management simplified their lives. It was a computerized process that was dynamic and inexpensive. It not only helped in saving time but also minimized many alternative endeavors.
The production of these kits occurs indigenously. The labs that manufacture them are:
South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), Coimbatore, Ordnance Factory in Kanpur, Heavy vehicles factory in Chennai, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Metal and Steel Factory (MSF) and Ordinance Factory in Ambarnath in Maharashtra.
By 2020, India was the second-largest producer of PPE kits in the world. They credit this to the appointment of the Ministry of Textile, who established a fruitful leadership. By this time, India was manufacturing 4.5 million PPE kits in a day.
The initial step was the formation of the MOT IN February, which included officers from the textile commissioner’s office, medical emergency response team, and office drug controllers.
Subsequently, the team devised a list of top-notch textile manufacturers from inputs derived by industry associations and integrated samples of textiles that had to be sent to The South India Textile Research Association.
The third step was analyzing the test results by a technical experts committee. They provided useful inputs on PPE overalls that finally adopted into the production process. The succeeding step required a thorough check on the technical specifications.
This meant that the end product was scrutinized through “Synthetic Blood Penetration” and fifth Hindustan Lifecare Limited (HLL) to supervise the applicants. SITRA was solely conducting quality checks on these kits.
This was followed by more National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories that were granted permission to conduct these tests. The early stages of indigenizing the program were crammed with apprehensions about the PPE manufacturers.
There was a dearth of PPE fabric and machines to synthesize them. But the formulation of MoT prompted utmost tolerance and aided in shipping and imports. Their priority was dispatching the raw material, air flight logistic carriers because importing anything from anywhere was next to impossible at the peak time.
There was a Group- IV task force designed to align with the growing needs of PPE kits. Their streamlined focus was the international leg of the supply chain. The onset of the process contained the following activities. First, there was coordination made with the Indian missions abroad on whom Indian manufacturers were relying on.
They depended on machinery for raw material. They commissioned a cluster of 150 officers from the center across production units in India. From Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and West Bengal. They sanctioned these officers under the Essential Commodities Act, 1995.
The construction of kits became proficient in Tiruppur. They could make it at one-third cost in juxtaposition with China. Their end deliverable was high-quality and pocket friendly.
The center likewise offered their cumulated efforts in manufacturing indigenous swabs for collecting COVID samples. Private companies like Johnson & Johnson, Reliance India, National Institute of Virology also joined hands with MoT.
As of date, India has a web of over 1000 PPE manufacturers who are accomplished. We expect this count to rise even more. India exported 23,000 PPE kits to the US, UK, Senegal, Slovenia, and UAE. Our country’s potential in transforming from an importer to an exporter is noteworthy.
The magnificent leadership and leveled execution made this possible. The government of India was a crucial entity in managing this crisis. They never compromised on the quality and worked in alignment with the rules laid out by the World Health Organization.
The collective efforts made by the revered authorities of India have attained an impossible task. By dealing with a huge crisis and helping many nations along the way, India has carved a path for itself. Their overall operations have heightened their expertise and amplified their capabilities.