Trivitron Healthcare to roll out locally-built ventilator in May

Around 300-400 engineers and other technical staff are working 24x7 at Trivitron's factories in Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ), Vizag and Chennai.

April 23, 2020 / 12:01 PM IST

Trivitron Healthcare has said it will be soon rolling out a mechanical ventilator that is built using up to 90 percent of locally made components.

Around 300 engineers are working 24x7 at Trivitron's factories in Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ) - Vizag,  Chennai and Mumbai, as it plans to roll out first batch of ventilators by May first week.

The company said it is working with auto companies and tapping the expertise in local eco-system to build components for its ventilators.

"We are building a mechanical ventilator from scratch, a good mechanical ventilator has 250 parts. Except maybe 10 that we import. the rest 200 plus components has to be produced or sourced locally," GSK Velu, Chairman and Managing Director, told Moneycontrol.

Velu said getting components from China and other countries has become difficult, as they started imposing restrictions on exports to shore up their own requirements.


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"We are really compelled to do our own component manufacturing," Velu said.

Velu said the ventilators will undergo rigourous testing and validation.

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Velu declined to disclose details such as whether he has any firm orders with state governments, the price of the ventilator or the volume he is planning to produce.

Velu said the first priority is to make ventilators for India.

"In future, we may possibly look at opportunities for exports, especially Africa," Velu said.

Velu added that he has been in ventilator business for 32 years, more as a trader than producer.

"We could not produce them because the India consumes 500 ventilators every year. There is not much scale to produce. We are now compelled to produce ventilators given the situation we are in," Velu said.

A ventilator is a mechanical breathing device that can blow air and oxygen into the lungs. Ventilators are critical for the care of people with lung failure, which can be one of the complications suffered by patients with severe COVID-19. About 3 percent of all COVID-19 patients would require ventilator support. India has reported about close to 19000 cases and 603 deaths.

As per a Brookings report, India might need anywhere between 110,000 - 220,000 ventilators by May 15 in the worst-case scenario. The number of ventilators today available in the country is a maximum of 57,000. Most of those available ventilators cannot be put to use.

But, experts say we may struggle if COVID-19 cases surge in days ahead as nearly 3 percent of COVID-19 patients would require ventilators.

Trivitron along with ventilators is also producing COVID-19 testing kits, personal protection equipment (PPEs)  and hand sanitisers.

The company imports COVID-19 confirmation assay real time RT PCR kit, Singleplex and Multiplex real time RT PCR Kit, RNA extraction kit and rapid test kits from its Chinese partner.

Trivitron has 10 manufacturing facilities in Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Helsinki and Ankara producing multiple medical equipment like ultrasound machines, analog and digital X-Ray, ECG Machines, patient monitors, reagents, and diagnostic products.

"Since there isn't much demand for medical devices we produce at the moment, we are converting are factories to produce COVID-19 related devices and consummable," Velu said.

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Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: Apr 21, 2020 09:34 pm

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