Maruti Suzuki producing ventilators, masks to tackle coronavirus pandemic
As coronavirus cases continue to increase, Maruti Suzuki, India's largest automaker, is planning to tackle one of the most concerning problems associated with the pandemic - ventilator shortage. The company has teamed up AgVa Healthcare, a Noida-based medical equipment manufacturer, to help with the production of ventilators, along with protective gear for health care workers on the frontline. Here's all about their plans.
After receiving a request from the Government of India, Maruti Suzuki assessed its ability and resources to mass-produce ventilators and decided to sign an agreement with AgVa to scale up its production capacity. The automaker has started mobilizing its resources and will be working in conjunction with AgVa to boost the production of ventilators up to 10,000 units per month, Economic Times reports.
According to a statement from Maruti Suzuki, the team at AgVa, an approved ventilator-maker, will take care of technology, performance and other related matters for the ventilators. Meanwhile, the automaker itself will utilize its suppliers to source ventilator components in bulk as well as handle other essential things like upgrading systems for effective production and quality control of the higher output.
"MSIL would also help, to the required extent, to arrange financing, and obtain all permissions and approvals required to enable the higher production," the automaker said while noting that it "would provide these services free of cost to AgVa Healthcare."
Beyond ventilators, Maruti Suzuki is also taking steps to boost the production of 3-Ply surgical masks and protective gear for healthcare workers. For masks, Krishna Maruti Limited, a joint venture of MSIL with Ashok Kapur, is working to get necessary approvals and begin supply to the Haryana and Central government. Ashok Kapur alone is donating 2 million free masks as part of this effort.
As for personal protection equipment or PPE, Bharat Seats Limited, a joint venture of MSIL with the Relan family, is awaiting necessary approvals to begin the manufacturing. The company says that the gear/clothing would be manufactured with a focus on the safety of healthcare workers.
Maruti Suzuki's efforts come as doctors continue to complain about the shortage of basic medical equipment and personal safety gear in the fight against coronavirus. Apart from the automaker, big conglomerates, including Reliance Industries, Tata Trusts, Mahindra Group, and Vedanta, have also donated - from dedicated funds to masks and isolation centers - to support our country's weak healthcare system.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed at least 19 lives in India and over 27,000 around the world. More than 6 lakh people have been confirmed to be infected by the virus since it began spreading three months ago from the Chinese city of Wuhan.