The government has ordered 1.7 crore PPEs (personal protection equipment) and 49,000 ventilators for the health workers and doctors to fight against the deadly coronavirus that has taken the planet in its grip.

The Health Ministry in its daily press briefing told about the development and also told that the supply of new PPE, ventilators and N95 face masks had already begun. It said there is no need to panic over the availability of PPE and advised caution by saying everyone does not need PPE.

Guidelines had been issued regarding its rational use, it said.

“Supplies of PPEs, masks and ventilators have now begun. 20 domestic manufacturers in India have been contacted and orders for 1.7 crore PPEs have been placed. Supplies have begun. 49,000 ventilators have been ordered,” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, said.

“There is a fear that everyone needs PPEs. Everyone does not need PPEs. A PPE is a mix of different components – like boots, N95 masks, coverall and headgear. People at high risk must use all components. For those at moderate risk masks and gloves are sufficient,” he said.

“PPE should be used as per requirement. I can use four N95 masks within a day or I can use just one within a day,” he added.

Agarwal said the centre was working towards ensuring the supply of essential medical equipment to states.

There were demands for the PPEs by the doctors across the country as the reports telling its shortage were coming out.

According to reports, doctors have received fewer PPEs as demanded by them to protect themselves while curing those infected of the deadly virus. In Delhi itself, eight doctors were reported to be infected of the coronavirus. It includes one nine months pregnant doctor as well.

During the press briefing, the Health Ministry also advised caution in the use of hydroxychloroquine by saying that the drug should be used ‘as per norms’ and is meant for doctors and medical staff dealing with coronavirus.

Health Ministry further told about the dispatch of 10 teams of novel coronavirus specialists to nine states. It also told that the Indian Railways had produced around six lakh reusable face masks and more than 4000 litres of hand sanitiser.