Govt asks automobile firms to make ventilator


Summary

  • On 22 March, Mahindra offered the government and concerned medical authorities help in scaling up production of ventilators, essential for critical patients infected with coronavirus. The company hopes to have the prototype ready within three days for approval, Pawan Goenka, managing director, M&M, had said.
  • The latest move shows however that there may be an acute shortage of ventilators in India, especially considering that the total number of cases of novel coronavirus infection, or Covid2019, is expected to rise exponentially from nearly 826 now.

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), which recently announced plans to manufacture ventilators, has indigenously developed a prototype of bag valve mask, which is commonly known as an Ambu bag. This could cost less than INR 7,500, the company said.

The artificial manual breathing unit, or ambu bag, is a self inflating device that is typically used to help patients with breathing problems.

The engineering teams based at the automaker’s Kandivali (Mumbai) and Igatpuri (Nashik) manufacturing plants developed the prototype within 48 hours, M&M chairman Anand Mahindra said on Thursday.

Anand Mahindra called the Ambu bag developed in house a game changer and said in a tweet that it could cost less than INR 7,500 and thus help a large number of people. We are simultaneously working with an indigenous maker of ICU ventilators. These are sophisticated machines costing INR 5-10 lakh. This device is an interim lifesaver and the team estimates that it will cost below INR 7,500, Anand Mahindra said in a tweet. We will seek guidance from specialists on the usefulness of the device, he said.

On 22 March, Mahindra offered the government and concerned medical authorities help in scaling up production of ventilators, essential for critical patients infected with coronavirus. The company hopes to have the prototype ready within three days for approval, Pawan Goenka, managing director, M&M, had said. Once proven, this design will be made available to all for manufacturing, Pawan Goenka said on twitter.

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd have teamed up with two stateowned companies and an unnamed ventilator manufacturer to simplify design and scale up production of ventilators in India, Pawan Goenka said.

Engineers of Mahindra Group are working on manufacturing prototypes of ventilators as India faces a shortage of the lifesaving medical device and the engineers involved in the making the design expect it to cost less than Rs 7,500.

In a tweet, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra applauded engineers from his company who have been involved in making the prototypes.

So, so proud of our Kandivali & Igatpuri teams who confined themselves to the factories & without sleep produced this in 48 hrs. With humility, we will seek guidance from specialists on the usefulness of the device. Whatever the outcome, they have shown India fights back, he tweeted.

India has lifted controls on producing medical ventilators, as it seeks to plug the growing shortage of this critical equipment in the battle against Covid-19.

The Centre plans to ask all interested manufacturing companies, including automakers, to start producing ventilators.

It is to inform that presently, no permission is required for manufacturing of ventilators under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Medical Device Rules. Therefore, those who are willing to come forward and manufacture ventilators may start the production to tackle the situation arising out of Covid-19 outbreak in public interest, V. G. Somani, India’s Drugs Controller General, said in an email to the secretary, ministry of pharmaceuticals, on 23 March.

Companies generally need a license to make items listed as essential medical equipment under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Medical Device Rules. This rule has however been waived off considering the medical urgency but only if the manufacturer partners a licensed firm.

The Union government had on Tuesday reached out to five automakers—Tata Motors Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), Hyundai Motor India Ltd, Honda Cars India Ltd and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd to explore the possibility of making ventilators at their plants.

Tata Motors might start production of such ventilators with one of the equipment manufacturing companies from next week. The developments are being monitored by the top management of the conglomerate Tata Sons, including the chairman. The challenge though will be reopening the plants for such a micro operation since permission will be required from local authorities, said a person directly aware of the development.

A senior government official said the automakers will have to talk to the existing ventilator manufacturers to reach an agreement on sharing of design and technology.

It is only automobile manufacturers we had a meeting with, and they had only shown interest. But, if anyone else is also interested, they can partner with these ventilator makers and manufacture it, the official said.

The step is spearheaded by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, in consultation with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), a senior health ministry official said separately.

The health ministry has so far declined to give an estimate for the number of ventilators in India.

The latest move shows however that there may be an acute shortage of ventilators in India, especially considering that the total number of cases of novel coronavirus infection, or Covid2019, is expected to rise exponentially from nearly 826 now.

Previous Beijing 2022 Olympics face 'special situation' after Tokyo postponed
Next Health ministry introduces first Covid-19 survivors

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *