Covid-19 spread: India trying to get key items for masks, ventilators from China

New Delhi: India is working on urgent modalities to procure medical items, including ventilators and vital components required for manufacturing N-95 masks and personal protective equipment from China to fight Covid-19. The Chinese government has offered to supply medical items to India on a government to government proposal.

This could ease domestic pressure as India readies to take on the pandemic. The production of N-95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) had taken a massive hit as vital components are imported from China and South Korea. The supply chain had been majorly hit after Covid-19 outbreak in the two countries. Though India is looking at indigenous solutions and encouraging Indian manufacturers to look at available components, imported components are vital. ET has learnt that China is ready to share experience, provide assistance within its capacity and open its channel for procurement to India. Currently the two sides are working on modalities for this procurement based on a government to government proposal.

External Affairs Minister S Jayashankar had a conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Tuesday to evaluate the effect of Covid-19 in both the countries. During the telephonic talk, Wang urged India not to brand the virus as ‘Chinese’ as it would be detrimental to China’s image. China’s request came days after US President Donald Trump refused to budge from his stance of calling the pandemic Chinese virus, as it originated in Wuhan and spread all over the world amid allegations that the Chinese delayed in letting the world know about the epidemic proportion of what soon became a pandemic.

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