Jagatjit Cotton Textiles (JCT) Mills Limited, based in Phagwara, Punjab, will supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits to medical professions fighting the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic on the frontlines. The Hazmat Suit by JCT Mills has been approved and certified for production by SITRA (South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) Coimbatore) — an industry-sponsored, Union government-supported renowned research institute in the textiles sector, Indian Express has reported.
JCT Strategic Business Development Director Priya Thapar told The Indian Express that the suit is indigenously designed and all the raw material will also be procured from domestic sources. “We have already started the production of hazmat at JCT Phagwara,” Thapar said, adding that negotiations and communications for the quantum of the order were ongoing with the Centre. Phagwara is located in Doaba region of Punjab, the epicentre of coronavirus cases in the state.
Thapar has said that JCT Mills and its associates could manufacture up to a million PPE suits in a month. She also expressed her gratitude towards the central and state government for “supporting the JCT in the innovative product, 100 per cent polyester full body suit with built in hood to cover head and a shoe cover”. Punjab Additional Chief Secretary (Investment Promotions and Industry and Commerce) Vini Mahajan said, “Now the placement of order is under discussion. Central agencies are also looking into it. Order process has been going on. But, they have been cleared and advised to start manufacturing immediately.”
“The product which we offer we will follow all safety standards. There are a lot of people who are involved (in the manufacturing of PPE), who are trying to get material passed. We have got certification from SITRA. Anyone and everybody cannot make a hazmat suit and start selling it. That is completely non-ethical. So, we went in for testing from SITRA,” said Thapar. “Our protective suit is 100 percent polyester with certain proprietary trademark coatings and other technology that is applied to it. There is a seam sealing technology in our product so that there is no passing of blood fluids or any other synthetic fluids through the fabric or through the seam. The test done by SITRA is as per prescribed norms and done under a certain water column pressure. Our product conforms to that,” she said.
“It is time we find indigenous solutions. We cannot depend on the Chinese because China exported this virus to the world and now they are trying to follow it up with exports of all their medical equipment and their medical wear masks and their gowns and anti-infective suits which they are selling at three to four times price not even at the right quality,” Thapar stated further.
Apart from JCT Mills, PPE suit samples from other manufacturers such as Evershine Industries, Shiva Tex Fab and Swami Textiles in Ludhiana, and Supreme Safety Products in Hoshiarpur have been sent by the Punjab Government to the SITRA for approval. With an increasing number of cases, it is expected that medical supplies will be required by healthcare professionals in huge numbers. Therefore, the central government and state governments are looking to increase the procurement of medical supplies and manufacturers have been asked to ramp up the productions.
Private entities in India have entered the battle against the Wuhan Coronavirus as well and are investing vast resources in order to combat the crisis. On Thursday, Mylabs Discovery Solutions became the first Indian firm to release indigenously developed testing kits for coronavirus in the market. The Tatas, Ambani, Vedanta, Mahindra and many others have pledged a lot of resources in order to overcome the threat to the country. Meanwhile, Indian manufacturers are looking to up the ante as well in providing the healthcare professionals with the adequate quantity of medical supplies.