As the COVID-19 pandemic rages, the demand for medical equipment has soared to dizzying heights, with many facing problems with procurement. But even as India continues to record more than 3 lakh fresh cases on a daily basis, it would seem that all available resources are not being utilized.
Punjab AAP leader Kultar Singh Sandhwan on Wednesday took to Twitter contending that ventilators supplied under the PM CARES fund were now lying unused in Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital in Faridkot. The from Kotkapura MLA urged Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to take action.
A photo shared by the lawmaker shows countless ventilators kept somewhat haphazardly in an empty room. Tagging the Chief Minister's office in his tweet, he urged the administration to "make them work for the needy".
Reports indicate that these ventilators had been abandoned after they developed snags soon after installation. As per an India Today report, 71 of the 80 ventilators supplied to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College under the PM CARES fund by AgVa Healthcare had been found faulty.
"We were given 82 ventilators under PM Cares Fund. Out of these 82 ventilators, 62 were not in working condition since the beginning as these are not of good quality. Today, we have only 42 ventilators in working condition," the VC of Faridkot's Baba Farid University of Health Sciences told news agency ANI.
Going by updates shared online, the issue had also been flagged by the Punjab government. On May 1, the Punjab administration had written to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare highlighting the issue of 809 ventilators provided to the State under PM Cares Fund "not being installed and malfunctioning".
As per the letter, the Punjab government had received 809 ventilators under the PM CARES fund from the Government of India. "There has been a number of complaints regarding malfunctioning of these ventilators and also ventilators have not been installed at some of the locations even till date. The representatives from the company have been approached time and again to get the mal-functioning of the ventilators repaired so that they could be put to proper use. Similarly, the uninstalled ventilators need to be installed on priority as the state is in the grip of severe second wave of COVID-19," the letter adds.
(With inputs from agencies)