The Uttar Pradesh government has clarified that no irregularities had been committed in procurement of PPE kits that were supplied to doctors and para-medical staff of government medical colleges across the state, after start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Additional chief secretary Avanish Kumar Awasthi said 3,500 PPE kits worth Rs 3.5 lakh were purchased in October 2019 by the Uttar Pradesh Medical Supply Corporation for doctors and para-medical staff treating the H1N1/SARS patients in medical colleges. The standard of the kits was for protection from H1N1/SARS.
He said that at the time of start of Covid pandemic there was a shortage of PPE kits so the government sent those (H1N1/SARS) kits to the medical colleges.
“After the purchase of kits for protection from Corona, the state government withdrew all H1N1/SARS kits that were dispatched to medical colleges earlier. The H1N1/SARS kits were used by doctors in various medical colleges and there was no report of infection. The old kits were purchased at the rate of Rs 115 per kit whereas the kits for protection from Corona are now being purchased at Rs 1,086 per kit,” he said.
The official further said that now the state government was purchasing PPE kits made for protection from Corona from a central government factory in Coimbatore, DRDE in Gwalior, Heavy Vehicles Factory in Tamil Nadu and Small Arms Factory, Kanpur.
Surprise check of the quality of the kits is being done by Small Arms Factory, Kanpur as well, he added.
The official said that no irregularity was committed in the purchase of PPE kits. The then committees of experts, doctors and officers had approved the purchase of kits. They are according to standards and rules set by the state government.
The state government, on April 26, had ordered a probe by the Special Task Force (STF) into the leak of director general (DG), medical education, Dr KK Gupta’s letter written to principals of medical colleges, warning them not to use PPE kits since they were of substandard quality. The letter was widely circulated on social media.