Even as India's inches towards the 2.5 million mark in total coronavirus cases, the government on Thursday said it has distributed more than 3.04 crore N95 masks and over 1.28 crore personal protection equipment (PPE) kits among the states, Union territories and central institutions for free since March 11.
Also, more than 10.83 crore hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets have been distributed among them, the Centre said. In addition, 22,533 "Make in India" ventilators have been delivered to various states, Union territories and central institutions, the ministry said, adding that the Centre is also ensuring the installation and commissioning of the machines.
With a record single-day increase of 66,999 cases, India's COVID-19 tally mounted to 23,96,637 on Thursday, while the number of patients who have recovered from the disease surged to 16,95,982, pushing the recovery rate to 70.77 per cent in the country.
The death toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 47,033 with 942 people succumbing to the disease in the last 24 hours. There are 6,53,622 active COVID-19 cases in the country presently.
The central role of the government has been in strengthening the health infrastructure of the states and Union territories to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure its effective management, the Union health ministry underlined.
Along with augmenting the COVID-19 facilities, the Centre is also providing medical supplies to the states and Union territories for free.
"Most of the products supplied by the Government of India were not being manufactured in the country in the beginning. The rising global demand due to the pandemic resulted in their scarce availability in the foreign markets," the ministry said.
With the combined efforts of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Pharmaceuticals, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and others, the domestic industry has been encouraged and facilitated to manufacture and supply essential medical equipment such as PPEs, N95 masks, ventilators etc., the Centre added.
"As a result, resolve for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and 'Make in India' has been strengthened and most of the supplies made by the Union Government are domestically manufactured," the health ministry underscored.