NEW DELHI: The Union Health Ministry on Friday dismissed as “baseless and incorrect, and not supported by full information on the matter” some media reports suggesting that ‘Make in India’ ventilators in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district were not functioning optimally.
Ventilators were available in very limited numbers in government hospitals across the country at the beginning of the pandemic last year. Moreover, very limited manufacturing of ventilators was taking place in the country and most of the suppliers abroad were not in a position to make supplies of ventilators in large quantities to India.
That is when the local manufacturers were encouraged to produce “Make in India” ventilators to address the huge projected demand of the country and orders placed on them.
The ventilator models went through rigorous screening, technical demonstration and clinical validation process in a very limited time available, through domain knowledge experts, and after their approval, these were put into supplies.
There are a few states which received the ventilators but are yet to get these installed in their hospitals. The Union health secretary wrote to seven such states on April 11 which still have more than 50 ventilators lying uninstalled with them for the last 4-5 months, the ministry said.
They have been requested to get the installation expedited so that the ventilators can be put to optimal use.
Ventilators manufactured by Jyoti CNC were supplied to Aurangabad Medical College. Jyoti CNC is one of the manufacturers of “Make in India” Ventilators. They have supplied ventilators centrally for COVID-19 management, as per the directions of Empowered Group-3, a statement said.
These ventilators were then made available to states as per their requests. This supplier is not funded under PM CARES fund.
In Aurangabad Medical College, 150 ventilators were supplied by Jyoti CNC. The first tranche of 100 ventilators reached Aurangabad on April 19, 2021 and their installation was carried out as per the allocations received from the state authorities. Forty-five out of 100 in the first lot were installed in the medical college.
Installation and successful commissioning certificate in respect of all these ventilators was issued by the hospital authorities after their successful commissioning and demonstration, the ministry said.
Out of these 45 installed ventilators, three were reinstalled in a private hospital (Cigma Hospital) by the state authorities. These were installed again by engineers of Jyoti CNC at the said private hospitals. The installation and commissioning certificate was issued by the hospital authorities also after their successful commissioning and demonstration, the statement said.
Twenty ventilators out of the above 45 were reallocated to another private hospital (MGM Hospital) by the states authorities. No formal information was provided about this to Jyoti CNC, the statement said.
Therefore, Jyoti CNC engineers had no part in the reinstallation of these ventilators. Therefore, the installation of these ventilators at the new location was done by the state authorities at their own responsibility.
The ministry said 55 ventilators of the first tranche were diverted to other locations (four locations namely Civil Hospitals at Beed, Usmanabad, Parbhani and Hingoli).
Installation and commissioning certificates for 50 ventilators were issued by the hospital authorities after their successful commissioning and demonstration. Five ventilators are lying uninstalled at the Beed Civil Hospital waiting for directions from the hospital authorities, the statement said.
The second tranche of 50 ventilators was sent to the Aurangabad Medical College and Hospital on April 23, 2021. Only two ventilators were installed in a private hospital by the authorities (Cigma Hospital). Installation and commissioning certificates for these two ventilators have also been issued by the hospital authorities after their successful commissioning and demonstration.
Directions are awaited by Jyoti CNC & HLL for further installations of 48 ventilators lying packed in Government Medical College, Aurangabad, the statement said.
On April 23, (i.e. four days after successful installation of ventilators the hospital authorities at GMC Aurangabad, a complaint was received telephonically informing that eight ventilators were not functioning, the statement said.
The engineers went to the site and found that flow sensor (proximal) had not been installed in three ventilators by the hospital. All eight were recalibrated by the service engineers of the vendor. One ventilator had an oxygen cell which was not functioning, the statement said.
A fresh oxygen cell was reinstalled and this ventilator also made functional and commissioned subsequently, it said.
Jyoti CNC received a call on May 10, 2021 informing that two ventilators have been used in ICU. Out of these, one on NIV (Non-Invasive (BiPAP) mode), is not being able to ensure saturation of the patient. The authorities said that this may be checked outside the ICU, the statement said.
The same was examined by the team of service engineers and was found to be in functional condition and the team returned after satisfying the Hospital authorities. This was put back in operation on a patient on night of May 12 on NIV mode, the statement said.