COVID-19 | Assam to use PPE kits from China only if doctors are satisfied with quality, says Health Minister

The kits will be used only after getting them tested for quality at DRDO or any other lab recognised by the Central government, said the Minister.

The Assam government has decided to use the Chinese personal protective equipment (PPE) kits after doctors are satisfied with their quality, in view of allegations of having imported them by bending rules.

State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had last week said Assam was the first State in the country to directly order 50,000 PPEs from China. He also said the Centre, which had earlier imported such kits separately, had been kept in the loop.


Also read: Coronavirus | COVID-19 drugs with less than 60% shelf life allowed to be imported


The PPEs had come directly in a cargo flight from Guangzhou to Guwahati on the evening of April 15.

However, reports that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had trashed the PPEs, have made the State government decide not to use them for now. Mr. Sarma said he checked with the DRDO, which denied having rejected the kits.

“We barely had around 2,200 PPEs when he had ordered them from China. We have about 1.5 lakh PPEs now, brought from different parts of India and will use the ones brought from China only after getting them tested for quality at DRDO or any other lab recognised by the Government of India,” he said on Saturday evening.


Also read: Three lakh more Chinese Rapid Antibody Test kits sent to India: envoy


The Minister said reports implying the poor quality of the imported PPEs created anxiety among the doctors and nurses in Assam.

He asserted that the State government did not pay for the imported kits. Some private parties made the advance payment on behalf of the government on the condition that they may not be reimbursed, he added.

“One of the parties has been asked to store the 50,000 kits. We will not force the doctors to wear those even if they pass the test. They have to be satisfied first,” Mr. Sarma said.

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