With most of the medical equipment such as coronavirus testing kits and masks available at cheaper rates in the market, the Centre has informed the Maharashtra government that it would discontinue their supply from October, an official said.
The state will buy these items, needed by health care workers and hospitals dealing with coronavirus patients, entirely on its own, he said.
"When the coronavirus outbreak started, nobody was making these items in the country. Now there are many suppliers, which has brought down the prices, so we can purchase them on our own," the senior state health department official said on Saturday.
"The RT-PCR testing kit would cost the Centre Rs 1,800, hence patients had to shell out around Rs 2,500 pertest. Now these kits are going to be available at Rs 400 or Rs 600 and we will pass on the price benefit to patients," he said.
The medical equipment which the Union government provided included Personal Protection Equipment kits, RT-PCR kits, ventilators, N-95 masks, HCQ and other medicines and oxygen supply units. The Union government was meeting 20 per cent of Maharashtra's need for these items, barring RT-PCR kits, the official said. In the case of testing kits, 100 percent supply came from the Centre.
"The Maharashtra government has so far received 3,000 ventilators from the Centre against the requirement of 4,500,"the official informed. As of Friday evening, the state had reported 7,47,995 coronavirus cases — 1,80,718 of them active — and 23,775 deaths.