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The outbreak of pandemic COVID -19 has converged people of the Nation to stand united in the fight against this deadly virus. In these testing and challenging times, there is a major challenge faced by the Government of India, which is the inadequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, especially during an extensive demand for the same. Government of India along with local Administration jointly are trying to address and resolve this surging issue.
In Ranchi, the District Administration has tried to innovatively resolve the persisting problem, by introducing protective gear and protective face masks being locally manufactured in the district for the frontline workers, which are both cost effective and safe at the same time.
The local District Administration is currently manufacturing two types of protective gear: 1) made of 90GSM Tarpaulin plastic, reusable after a wash and 2) made of 50 GSM LDPE, easily disposable after a single use. Production of the gear is currently at 100 units per day in the District’s textile factories like Arvind Mills, Orient Crafts and Asha Enterprises, which will be scaled up in the near future.
One of the most cost effective protective gear, Tarpaulin can be dipped in hypochlorite solution for half hour auto clave and these kits are being utilized by frontline health workers who go for contact testing several times. Manufacturing cost of each kit is merely Rs 300, which is an extremely cost effective solution during the times of outbreak of pandemic COVID-19.
To combat the growing crisis of Personal Protective Equipment arising due to lack of quality and cost effective products, 50 each of these PPE kits have been distributed to the District Administration of East Singhbhum and Pakur. The low density polyethylene (LDPE) variant being disposable in nature is however priced at Rs 150.
District Administration in Ranchi has also developed a face sheet or visor, which as an additional protection layer covers the face portion above a mask. This face sheet available in the market at Rs 50 per piece for less than Rs 5/unit, is also reusable after sterilization. Manufactured by Sakhi Mandal, one of the local Self-Help Groups (SHG), these face sheets will be sold at Rs 7/unit, of which Rs 2 will go to the rural women directly involved in the manufacture.
During these testing and stressful times, when frontline workers are at an all time high risk, being directly exposed to working in quarantine/ isolation zones without adequate and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), these tailor made solutions are need of the hour and also a way forward to fight with the pandemic virus. The Ranchi District Administration plans to increase production of these kits in near future to effectively resolve the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, both within and outside the District.