Garment firms begin to make masks, gloves, other PPEs

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Published: April 11, 2020 7:50 AM

Gautam Nair, managing director at Matrix Clothing, one of the country’s largest garment exporters, told FE that two of his factories in Gurgaon are manufacturing body suits.

Garment firms, PPEs,mask production,matrix clothing, Tirupur Exporters’ Association, textile ministry, HLL Lifecare,latest news coronavirus outbreak“Only those companies, which have got hostels for workers and are better equipped to adhere to safety measures at this moment, have got permission to produce these items,” Shanmugham said. (IE photo)

About three dozen garment companies have paid heed to the textile ministry’s call to start producing certain types of personal protective equipment (PPE) and help meet the mounting domestic demand in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gautam Nair, managing director at Matrix Clothing, one of the country’s largest garment exporters, told FE that two of his factories in Gurgaon are manufacturing body suits. As many as 20 companies in the garments hub of Tirupur are engaged in the production of masks, body coveralls and gloves, and have already supplied a million masks, according to Raja M Shanmugham, MD at Warshaw International and president of the Tirupur Exporters’ Association.

These products would be used primarily by paramedics, said Shanmugham. “Only those companies, which have got hostels for workers and are better equipped to adhere to safety measures at this moment, have got permission to produce these items,” Shanmugham said. Some garment units in Karnataka and Noida have also started such production and some others are expected to follow suit.

Asked about margins, both Nayar and Shanmugham asserted that they were not doing it for profit but for humanitarian considerations. The body suits being manufactured by the garment companies are roughly 40-50% cheaper than the imported ones from China, some of the companies say. The textile ministry is learnt to have impressed upon the companies to help improve domestic supplies and the health ministry has firmed up product specifications.

Most of these products will be supplied to HLL Lifecare — the government’s nodal agency for procuring PPE. Late last month, the government, through HLL, floated a tender for 725,000 body cover, 1.5 million N-95 masks and one million 3-ply masks.

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