Everything that happened during the pandemic was unimaginable. The first line warriors like medical and pharmaceutical support were seen covered head to toe in PPE kits.
The protective gears acted as life saviour for the health care workers as well as the police department.
Pandemic brought the world to a halt. Amidst the situation, the Indian PPE kit manufacturers met the domestic requirement and made India the second largest exporters of the world.
When coronavirus came to India in January, 2020, we weren’t prepared for the rest of the world. The catastrophic turn of events took the globe by surprise. Soon, the masks and the protective coverall or PPE kits became the ‘new normal.’ Apparently, then the PPE kits were imported. India’s government soon anticipated the demand of these PPE kits and thus dedicated all efforts to produce maximum PPE kits instead of importing. As importing products also involved huge risk. It was the protection measures that saved us from the severe fatality. The PPE kits and masks became a necessity for survival.
Embarkment of PPE kit production:
Some incidents in history have influenced the future to unimaginable lengths. A similar incident took place in 2020 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced countrywide lockdown. The increasing volume of COVID-19 patients on one hand and arranging safety for front-line warriors on others was a hard task for any country to cope up. The imports were cut down to minimal as the world was combating with the COVID-19 virus. The PPE kits that were imported before was a risk-involving task. The stock of these PPE kits were soon to be exhausted.
The country was about to face a heavy shortage of the basic safety equipment as the basics weren’t available in the country like complete PPE kits for the doctors and the medical staff who were in contact with the COVID-19 patients. Even the production of masks was way less than the requirement. The lives of the front-line warriors were at stake along with the patients and saving them all was the biggest challenge.
As there were no production of PPE kits at all in India, the primary task was to help textile industry for production. The produced PPE kits should meet the WHO standards, thus, having well-equipped labs for the same. The PPE kits included PPE goggles, mask, or face shield, gloves, gown or coveralls (shirt and pant), head cover, and rubber boots/ shoe cover. Producing these many items under prescribed regulation was the responsibility of Textile industry and Government of India.
The industries that could get clearance for PPE kits comprises in the large scale industry. These manufactures helped the small scale units to produce high quality kits. This led to the embarkment of PPE kits manufacturing and making India larged PPE kits producer and exporter.
From importer to world’s largest exporter in 60 days
The COVID-19 was spreading at an exponential rate. The health sector needed upteen attention, as a little lax could collapse the entire system. The consequence of the same would have been catastrophic. The government officials efficiently did the map work. The production of safety kits was kept at priority and precautionary measures to ensure citizens’ safety.
The primary step was to fill the gap of resources.
This started in February-March, 2020. The raw materials required for Class-3 PPE recommended for the doctors, nurses, and health care workers by WHO were assembled. Both textile and health care workers and the government were involved in the production of PPE kits as per the WHO standards.
The next step was to produce the standard quality PPE kits. The pilot run of the same involved small-large industries from across the country. The result was below satisfaction as only few large scale industry could pass the quality test run as per the WHO guidelines. The result gave birth to the mission ‘Operation PPE coverall.’ This was announced on the same day when lockdown was announced. Now, the challenge was to produce 20,000 PPE kits per day amidst lockdown.
Further, laboratories was establish across the country.
Before this, only the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) use to conduct tests, but now the labs were at: Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDO), Gwalior; Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi; Textiles Committee (TC), Mumbai; Small Arms Factory, Kanpur; Ordnance Factory, Kanpur; Metal & Steel Factory, Ishapore; Ordnance Factory, Ambarnath; and Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi.
It was difficult for the work-force to risk their lives to save the rest. However, they managed to combat the situation by keeping the best food forward.
The companies who got approval by SITRA shared their secret and techniques with the rest. The textile industry was soon seen dedicating all their efforts and producing the WHO certified kits. In the very small span of time, 20,000 PPE requirement was turned into 40,000 PPE produced. The extra kits were soon exported to the most affected countries. It took only 6 months period to reach the maximum production. The country that was not producing any PPE kits was now the world’s largest exporter. The entire process took only 180 days for the work-force.
Filling up the blank left by Chinese Industry:
It is said that Wuhan was in lax about the catastrophic effect of COVID-19. When the contamination began, it took hardly a month to take the entire globe in its grasp. The super developed countries like the US, Spain, Italy, the UK, and other were badly affected. Consequently, there was higher death rate leaving the countries in despair. The world was severely suffering and couldn’t find a way out.
The blame of the entire fatal incident was on the Chinese government. The backlash of the same let the consumers boycotting the goods and supplies from China. China was a top player in multiple fields including the production of PPE kits and other medical essentiality. The Indian government that believes in Atma-nirbharta and changing bad situation into opportunity took its shoulder weight.
The period of 6 months changed the definition of Indian textile industry. It is now the world’s largest exporter. The mission ‘Operation PPE coverall’ was therefore accomplished.
Creating history amidst pandemic:
Together government officials and the entire textile industry’s efforts were well paid off. Despite of fatal incides, the COVID-19 is finally tamed. The vaccinations have started across the world. However, the masks and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits are still on heavy demand. The protection suit was not only used by the doctors, nurses, or hospital staff, but was used by anyone suspected to come in close proximity with COVID-19 infected patients.
In this sector, managing multi-sectoral job amidst lockdown is quite amazing for Prime Minister Modi. The quick decision making power has help the country in unimaginable lengths. Alongside, the country has set daunting example of turning any bad situation into opportunity.
It was the first months of 2020 in its last week, when the world realised the crisis. Then, our country didn’t had sufficient material to fight. With meticulous planning and execution, India once again shine brightest on the world map.
The textile industry is booming with opportunity at the present time. Despite the heavy decline in the world economy, the textile industry is holding the flagship because of masks and PPE kits’ production.