China donates 170,000 PPE coveralls to India
China has donated 170,000 coverall suits to India, the Indian Press Information Bureau confirmed in a statement.
These are head-to-toe suits that protect medical workers and frontline emergency responders from possible exposure to the coronavirus when handling infected patients.
The Indian government said it has also ordered 8 million complete personal protective equipment (PPE) kits from a Singapore-based company, with deliveries expected from April 11, and is in negotiations with a Chinese firm to place an order of 6 million complete PPE kits.
India is also racing to produce PPE domestically: 190,000 coveralls and 200,000 N95 face masks produced in India will be distributed to hospitals nationwide, according to the Press Information Bureau.
The majority of new PPE and masks are being sent to states with a comparatively higher number of cases, including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan.
This comes as the country prepares for things to get worse. Last week, a 56-year-old man became the first patient to die in a Mumbai shantytown considered one of the largest slums in Asia. If the virus hits India’s slums, the resulting outbreak could be disastrous, health officials and experts warn.
India now has 4,778 confirmed coronavirus cases and 136 reported deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.