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Health Secretary Pulls Up States, UTs Over 1,600 Pending Ventilators

The Centre has pulled up states and Union Territories for nearly 1,600 ventilators still pending to be installed despite sending “repeated reminders” and to ensure the machines are set in place and are fully functional as Covid-19 cases are spiraling in the country, touching 1,59,632 today, News18.com has learnt.

Based on the demand projected by the States/UTs, the ministry of health and family welfare had provided more than 50,000 Make-In-India ventilators last year.

“Out of the above, as on date, 49,064 Make-In-India ventilators have been installed in hospitals across the states/UTs as per the consignee details provided by them,” said the letter written to states and Union Territories, Rajesh Bhushan, secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The letter dated January 7, accessed by News18.com, said the ministry has noted a large gap between the delivered and installed ventilators in the states. “We have repeatedly requested states/UTs to get these ventilators installed expeditiously. In addition, the ministry has sent separate state-wise reminders dated 29.09.2021 and 22.11.2021.”

It further said it is imperative that there is “no further delay in getting the ventilators installed” in the wake of spiraling of Covid-19 cases.

The attached list, with the letter, shows that Telangana has around 534 pending ventilators, which are yet to be installed followed by 236 ventilators in Uttar Pradesh and 210 ventilators in Tamil Nadu. Nearly 172 ventilators are pending for installation in Delhi and 136 in Gujarat, apart from Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Karnataka.

The number of ventilators, which are installed and pending with states and Union Territories.

Reminders Sent for Ventilator Requirement

The letter further points out that the states and UTs had earlier demanded a large number of ventilators but did not provide any consignee details of relevant hospitals despite “repeated reminders”.

“As a result, the supplies of the demanded ventilators could not be made to the hospitals. Since this cannot continue as an open-ended exercise, it is requested that if the states have any additional demand of ventilators the same may be provided within the next 10 days. By January 17, along with the consignee details of hospitals.”

“MoHFW will not be able to address any additional requests thereafter,” it said.

It also reminded hospitals that the ventilators procured and provided by the health ministry came with a warranty of one year.

“The initial warranty of these ventilators is now over or would be getting over in near future. This crucial infrastructure provided to the states/UTs is a permanent asset now available with the hospitals across the country,” Bhushan said while requesting the states to take over the responsibility of maintaining and operating these ventilators.

“Considering that an upsurge in Covid cases has been noticed over the last few days, there is a need that states/UTs do not delay this important aspect of arranging for continued maintenance and functioning of these ventilators,” he further said.

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