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PM CARES ventilators just do not work, complain state governments


Maharashtra joins the chorus against the inferior quality of ventilators bought with money from the PM CARES Fund. Earlier, Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgrah and Punjab had raised the issue.

PM CARES ventilators just do not work, complain state governments
The spokesperson of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, Sachin Sawant, on May 14 accused the BJP-led central government of providing faulty ventilators purchased using the money from the PM CARES Fund and asked for a state-level inquiry into the matter.
His announcement on Twitter comes amid complaints from various states on the poor quality of the ventilators provided by the central government.
“Committee of medical experts appointed by Govt Medical College Aurangabad found all ventilators provided under #PMCares to the institution useless. As per their report, even company technicians could not repair those. It is a big scam,” tweeted Sawant, the general secretary of Maharashtra Congress.
He called for a state-level inquiry while sharing a report submitted by the committee of medical experts appointed by Government Medical College Aurangabad.
The committee found that all the ventilators provided to the college were "useless." The report stated how even technicians from the company that provided the ventilators were unable to fix the ventilators and the ventilators were unable to provide the tidal volume of oxygen required to keep oxygen saturation high in ICU patients, rendering them unhelpful for the purposes of an ICU ventilator.
"We demand state level inquiry into all ventillators (sic) provided by the Centre to Maharashtra. Time & public money wasted through #PMCaresFund is unpardonable. Modi govt made all corporate companies to donate in this opaque fund. It was seen that information under RTI cannot be sought," Sawant added.
Maharashtra is not the only state which has reported dysfunctional ventilators being provided by the Centre. The Rajasthan government raised similar concerns regarding ventilators last month, as reported by The Indian Express.
The same issue was also found in Punjab where the Vice-Chancellor of  Baba Farid University of Health Sciences said of the 82 ventilators provided under PM CARES Fund, 62 were defective since its arrival. The response came from the VC after an AAP MLA tweeted pictures of unused ventilators lying abandoned in GGSMC Faridkot.
The hospital staff said the ventilators supplied to them by the Centre were not reliable since most of those only functioned for just one or two hours after installation.
“We have raised these issues with the government. We have even conveyed that the quality of the ventilators provided under the PM Cares Fund is significantly inferior. Besides, the functional machines too are constantly hit by snags, so we cannot use these for patients until we have a repair mechanism in place,” Dr Raj Bahadur told The Tribune.
In Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, ventilators provided by the Centre lie unused due to defects.
The PM CARES Fund had managed to collect over Rs 3,000 crore in 2019-2020. Ventilators were procured from Indian manufacturers spending Rs 2,000 from the fund, as mentioned in its official website.

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