Raja M Shanmugham, President, Tirupur Exporters Association said that instead of sourcing from China, all the PPE kits can be sourced from industrial clusters like Tirupur, which manufactures around Rs 50,000 crore worth of knitwear every year for export and domestic markets.
He noted while nearly 100 units were producing masks at present, with government support, PPEs could be manufactured at the garment factories in Tirupur. All these manufacturers needed in the form of government support included standard operating procedure, know-how, education and supply of fabric, said Shanmugham.
The move would also help the garment factories, which are sitting idle due to the lockdown
across the country and in various global markets, he noted.
"These can be manufactured faster in centres like Tirppur. Why is the government neglecting this bigger opportunity," questioned Shanmugham.
Concerns have been raised about the availability of PPEs with the number of Covid-19 cases rising in the country going up in the last few weeks. While the government has decided to procure PPEs for government hospitals, the private sector is finding it difficult to procure these kits, which cost around Rs 800-1000 per piece. The doctors and nurses dealing directly with the Covid-19 patients need to change kits often in a day. Moreover, the lab technicians who carry out tests also require PPEs, nearly one per sample, according to industry sources.