India to import PPE from China in COVID-19 fight, says report

New reports say that India will stock up on personal protective equipment and ventilators by banning exports and importing from China.

PPE in India

With the demand of key medical items such as ventilators, N95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) surging following the rise of the number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases, the Indian government has reached out to China to restore the supply of these devices and vital components required for manufacturing.

The shortage of medical equipment is going to be the biggest challenge, although the government has already banned the export of these devices with immediate effect, according to GlobalData.

The outlet’s research reveals that the Indian ventilators market, which accounted for around 12 percent of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) ventilators market in 2019, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8 percent through 2025.

Currently, India’s public health spending of the gross domestic product (GDP) is amongst the lowest in the world, says the report and the country has a poor health infrastructure with few intensive care beds and ventilators, mostly found in large cities. Although private healthcare facilities are better equipped, they are expensive and are non-accessible to a majority of the population.

Rohit Anand, Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Since the supply chain was severely impacted amid the COVID-19 outbreak, restoring supplies with China will reduce some pressure. As the number of cases are expected to rise, India would like to ramp up the supply and production of ventilators, N95 masks and other devices needed to treat COVID-19 patients and the government would like to manufacture these products indigenously to keep the prices under control.

Anand concluded: “India at this stage also needs a large number of makeshift hospitals and isolation units to treat COVID-19 patients as the existing healthcare facilities will not be enough if the number of patients surge in a pattern similar to Europe and the US. The government may consider railway coaches to create such facilities as country is well connected through railway network and such a facility can be moved to even the remote parts of India in the case of a possible outbreak.” 

Related organisations

Related people

Related diseases & conditions