Manufacturers, however, say they are receiving enquiries

The spike in COVID-19 cases may not lead to a surge in demand for personal protection equipment (PPEs) again, though manufacturers are getting fresh enquiries.

According to A. Sakthivel, chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council, manufacturers are receiving enquiries again. But it may not lead to a huge demand as seen last year.

Raja M. Shanmugham, president of the Tiruppur Exporters’ Association, said there are a few manufacturers who continue to make PPEs and masks. However, there will not be a major shift to PPE production as the demand will not be high. Garment manufacturers are likely to continue making regular products. “Last year, when the COVID-19 cases went up, there was fear and a huge demand for PPEs and masks. This year, the fear is not there. Further, use of PPEs is also not much. Hence, there will not be a major jump in demand,” he said.

The Southern India Textile Research Association, a recognised laboratory to test PPEs and masks, continues to receive a steady stream of samples to test for different standards, but there is no rush for products as before.

Chairman of Indian Technical Textile Association K.S. Sundararaman said there is no mandate by the government now on the use of PPEs. Hence, the demand is not likely to be high. “So, there is no demand-supply crunch. There is enough capacity in the country to meet the current demand,” he said. Further, not all hospitals are keen on buying laminated PPEs. The focus now is more on the use of masks and sanitisers, and there is adequate capacity for manufacturing gloves, sanitisers, and masks. Even for masks, many wear cloth masks and there are no specific standards that are compulsory, he says.

Published On : 10-04-2021

Source : The Hindu

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