MUMBAI: Skanray, the Bangalore based exporter of ventilators is drawing plans to locally assemble nearly 1 lakh ventilators in the country as India prepares to gear up its emergency situation in an event of the large number of critically ill covid-19 patients. Skanray is working out the design with Defence Research and Development (DRDO) Niti Ayog, Director Health Services and Karnataka government. The company said it has received financial and technical commitment from philanthropist Sudha Murthy, Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Dr Devi Shetty of NH Hospitals. The company is also speaking to other manufacturers to share their design, this it said it is doing because of the emergency need of the equipments.

On Sunday evening, Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra also said in a tweet on that the company will start work on developing ventilators.

Last week ET reported that ET has shortage of ventilators as new critical components from Europe was not coming through because of shutdowns and airline ban. The company’s 350 odd R&D team has been reshuffled to start the work on manufacturing the machines suitable to the epidemic model. “We have started the process and by May (the time when we think that the epidemic will see rise in critical cases) we should be ready to deliver the orders. We are looking at a model that has low dependent on imports”, said Vishwaprasad Alva, MD Skanray to ET. Mr Alva said that the company requires Rs 400 crore to initiate its manufacturing process, which it said the philanthropists and medical experts will help the company secure. “The above corporates have told us that they can help speed up the activity of the manufacturing once we get an order. They will look at order inflow and provide working capital or help secure credit line”, added.

In India, more than 1 lakh and fourteen thousand have been screened for Covid-19 and over 14 thousand have been tested. On Sunday the number of positive patients was 283, out of which 24 had recovered and five deaths.

If the number of critical cases goes up, India’s capacity to handle those who need respiratory support will be stretched. Estimates according to local manufacturers suggest that there are about 30,000 ventilators in India — every state has a different number.

Skanray says to speed up the production, the government has to airlift certain components that is stuck in other countries, this will save 20 days of the production time by cutting the time taken for customs clearence.

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