Assam Imports 50,000 PPE Kits from China; Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Receives Consignment
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New Delhi/Guwahati: The Assam government on Wednesday imported 50,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits from China for the frontline healthcare workers combating the Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
India has ordered 15 million PPE gears besides a few million testing kits from China, India's Ambassador in Beijing Vikram Misri said on Tuesday. The orders have been placed by several state governments and both public and private health sectors.
On Wednesday evening, China sent a special aircraft carrying 50,000 PPE kits from Guangzhou city. The consignment was received in the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport in Guwahati by state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma along with his deputy Pijush Hazarika.
Sharing pictures of the aircraft on Twitter, Sarma said that the government's priority was to save lives. "Keeping life first as the motive, we are glad to have imported, 50,000 PPE kits from Guangzhou, China...A big reassurance for our doctors & nurses," he tweeted.
Another BIG reason to cheer!Keeping life first as the motive, we're glad to have imported 50,000 PPE kits from Guangzhou,China. I am happy to receive this special flight along with @Pijush_hazarika at #Guwahati airport just now. A big reassurance for our doctors & nurses. pic.twitter.com/nFkFkwfPQZ— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 15, 2020
On Tuesday, Misri said that India planned to procure three million Covid-19 testing kits, half of which have already been delivered by China. India's current target is to produce and procure a total of 17 million PPE sets and tens and thousands of ventilators to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
"Their smooth procurement at stable prices will send the best signal possible for Sino-Indian ties," he had said.
Ever since its factories resumed operations after over two-month-long lockdown in Wuhan, where the coronavirus pandemic first originated, China has been busy exporting medical equipment across the world, including India.
In a tweet, Sarma said that "two Covid-19 patients -- Nuruddin and Jonab Ali -- treated at Sonapur Civil Hospital, and were successively tested negative twice as per the ICMR protocols, are being discharged. They are being sent for a 14-day home-quarantine".
According to the minister, so far, 32 positive case have been reported from Assam and a 65-year-old man, who has a travel history to Saudi Arabia and Delhi, died in Hailakandi district in southern Assam on April 10.
Of the positive cases in Assam, except two cases, all were attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation held in Delhi's Nizamuddin area last month.